Telegraph axes 80 jobs amid advertising revenue fall

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THE Telegraph newspaper group is cutting 80 jobs as part of a plan to merge its daily and Sunday publications and put a greater focus on its website to counter declining advertising revenues.

At the same time the group is investing £8 million to create 50 “digitally focused” positions over the next six months as “a strong and positive sign of our faith in the future”.

In a letter to staff, Murdoch MacLennan, chief executive of Telegraph Media Group, said the axe would fall mostly on print-based, editorial positions. Other areas of the business will also be reviewed “in due course”.

“Print advertising has declined sharply in the first quarter of 2013 while newspaper sales continue to contract,” he said. “We must adapt and transform how we function as a business and urgently diversify our revenue streams, to guarantee our position in the longer term.”

The group’s website and two national broadsheets will merge their editorial teams into a single unit producing digital and print products “on a 24/7 basis”.

MacLennan said the move would complete the Telegraph’s transition to become a “digital business”. The firm recently appointed a chief digital officer and yesterday announced a new role, director of content, to oversee the editorial operation.

The announcement signals the latest move by a British broadsheet to merge weekly and Sunday titles as readers increasingly consume news online.

The Financial Times said in January it planned to cut a net total of around 25 jobs as part of a restructuring plan to concentrate on digital services.