Reach chief executive Jim Mullen has told staff there are currently no plans for further cuts this year after a “difficult” 2023 at the publisher.
Around 80 jobs were cut at the publisher in January, of an initial planned 200, and a further 192 editorial jobs were culled in March, with another 450 cuts announced in November.
Thirteen of Reach’s smaller regional news websites were also closed during 2023, including several sites that were launched as part of Reach’s 2021 plan to cover every county in England and Wales by the end of the year.
In an all-staff email on Tuesday afternoon, seen by Press Gazette and partially republished there, said there were no plans for further cuts and the company’s focus would be “on our future and our growth.”
The email read: “I’ve said before that we want our brands and our journalism to be even more important in our growing audience’s lives going forward as they were in the past.
“I know that to be successful in that, certainty, security and confidence in our future are important for our employees. That’s why the teams that we have starting the year are those that I, and my ExCo team, plan to be continuing this journey by the end of the year.
“In 2024 we’re not planning to cut to catch up; we’re looking ahead and I want our focus to be on our future and our growth, and not with one eye over our shoulder or on the challenges of the past.
“The plans we’ve put in place and the difficult but necessary decision to see a number of people leave the business mean we are structured for our digitally-led future, and our budgets and cost base for the year are aligned.”
Mullen added that the end of the company’s longstanding pension fund deficit and a time limit on legal claims established by the Prince Harry privacy trial judgment were both good news for the business.