Following news of impending redundancies and magazine closures, Dundee-based publisher DC Thomson has confirmed the closure of several magazines and the loss of 300 jobs – a fifth of its workforce.
40 titles will also close, including Living, Platinum, Evergreen, teen magazine Shout, Animals & You and Animal Planet, all produced in Dundee.
About half of the job losses will come from the complete closure of DC Thomson’s operation in Colchester, home to subsidiary Aceville Publications, which produces about 20 to 30 magazines in sectors including gardening, health and food. These include Let’s Knit, Grow your Own, Healthy Diet, Busymitts and Craft Store.
The Guardian notes DC Thomson acquired Aceville in 2018, at the time calling it “one of the fastest-growing publishing houses in the UK”, the operation ran about 50 consumer and business-to-business titles.
A spokesperson for DC Thomson, which employs about 1,600 people across the UK, and also publishes BEANO and Commando described the closures and redundancies as a “difficult decision”.
“A huge amount of work goes into the creation of our titles and despite being loved, some titles and brands are finding it harder to be profitable,” they added.
“By resetting DC Thomson’s media business we can focus on the communities which have potential for sustainable growth.”
There may be further job cuts in coming days on the company’s newspapers, with jobs at risk among journalists, photographers, senior management and editors. It has been suggested 100 jobs are at risk across the company’s newspaper portfolio, which also includes the Evening Telegraph and The Sunday Post.
The publisher runs four regional dailies – Aberdeen’s Press & Journal and Evening Express, and Dundee titles The Courier and the Evening Telegraph – as well as the Sunday Post and magazines including The People’s Friend, BEANO, and Puzzler.
The BBC reports that Frank O’Donnell, editor-in-chief of The Press & Journal, has been told his job is “at risk”.
Responding to the announcements, Nick McGowan-Lowe, National Union of Journalists (NUJ) organiser for Scotland said: “These are brutal cuts, and we will robustly defend the jobs of our members.
“Our members are furious both with how the company has handled these redundancies and because they are seeking to make £10m cuts across the business after paying out £24m in dividends to shareholders last year.
“The jobs of hard-working journalists should not be sacrificed to pay the price of extravagant shareholder profits.”
“These moves are vital to set us up to thrive in the future and to respond to the difficult economic environment we are in,” said Rebecca Miskin, chief executive of DC Thomson’s media business. “The transformation strategy already in place was addressing fundamental industry shifts, but the need to change has been massively accelerated and magnified by the current economic crisis.”
“We will focus on specific connected and purpose driven communities which enjoy the biggest potential for deep audience engagement and long-term growth. We are strengthening and building the skills that will be vital deliver this.
“Unfortunately, we have also had to make difficult decisions concerning those brands and activities which sit outside these growth areas.
“We will be announcing the closure of some well-loved titles, as well as the cessation of some commercial activities. This will mean losing some valued colleagues, something we deeply regret.”
• DC Thomson is online at dcthomson.co.uk
Categories: downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Magazines, Other Worlds