Wednesday, 11 March 2009

REP RIP?

Trade Union leader and Independent councillor for Battle ward, Tony Jones, reports that the proud purveyors of news to the local community, the Reading Evening Post, is to cut back publication from 5 to only 2-days-per-week.

The Press Gazette broke the story, saying 95 staff will be made redundant, including 35 from editorial divisions.

Over 12,000 daily readers will be disappointed at the reduction in news reporting and the burden will inevitably be picked up by the license-fee funded BBC, which quotes GMG Regional Media CEO, Mark Dodson. Apparently GMG is searching for a lower-cost business model.

Cllr Jones also mentions the competition traditional newsprint media is facing from the likes of faster-moving formats, arguing that newsprint is a vital cog in the information network which keeps communities functioning effectively and efficiently - this is a hint towards GMG mission statement to 'adhere to principles of decency and public service', asserted by founder CP Scott that newspapers have 'a moral as well as material existence'.

Reading Evening Post is owned by the Labour-supporting Guardian Media Group (GMG) which has announced a profit warning for the 2008/09 financial period with the expectation of further reductions in 2009/10 as a combination of increased competition and weaker demand takes hold.

NUJ head of publishing Barry Fitzpatrick said, "Once again journalists are paying the price for the short-sighted policies of newspaper management."

Reading Evening Post declared average circulation of 12,879 in the second half of 2008.

Google aggregates more.

Oranjepan asks:
Is this the point at which commercial reality reasserts itself over political idealism?

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Reading List awaits the verdict of Janestheone, who has fought a long personal vendetta against REP editor Andy Murrill.

Updates: Cllr Richard Willis catches on.

Janestheone has no remorse, while Muckspreading throws a scoring suckerpunch.

REP's own report quotes Reading Evening Post editor, Andy Murrill, who said the organisation was "building on it's position of strength".

Greater Reading LibDems have released a statement from Reading East PPC, Cllr Gareth Epps, who said, "Everyone I've spoken to is shocked that the Post itself may become a casualty of the recession. Local newspapers are hugely important to local communities. I hope that other ways can be found for the paper to survive and grow back."

Matt Brady at Reading Roars has also commented and advertises the facebook group set up by Cllr Jones, which already has over 100 members.

The Daily Whinge, well, whinges.

Reading List awaits developments at Reading Chronicle.

Cousin Gideon thinks they've got what they deserve.

3 comments:

  1. Abbey Nationalist11 March 2009 at 22:12

    Well done Cllr Jones for spotting this before anyone else. It's still not on the Post's website, as far as I can see.

    ReplyDelete
  2. you got it Oranjy babes, a bit of gloating never came amiss

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cutting production from 5 times a week to 2, building on a position of strength? Come to think of it, going, according to their own figures, from 60,000+ readers a week to 24,000 hardly seems to be building.

    ReplyDelete

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