Express journalists axed in seven-day restructure

Express Newspapers is to make 85 journalists redundant by reorganising the newspaper as a seven-day operation.

As part of the changes, Richard Addis, editor of the Daily Express, becomes editor of both the Sunday and daily titles, while Sue Douglas, former editor of the Sunday paper, is considering whether to accept another role in the group.

The group claims it is investing up to 10m in a relaunch of the papers, beginning on Monday. It will include two new colour magazines for the seven-day paper; an enlarged pull-out sports section seven days a week; a doubling of colour pages; and an increase in pagination.

It is promising heavy advertising and promotional support for the paper once the relaunch is complete.

“We will spend as much as we need to to present the new paper to readers,” says Stephen Grabiner, chief executive of United Newspapers. “We will spend a little in 1996, but you won’t be able to miss it in 1997.”

Grabiner maintains there is no plan for redundancies in the advertising sales, administration or marketing departments, although sales staff still expect a restructuring.

The redundancies follow the loss of 220 staff at the newspaper group last year which hit the administration and support services departments. These were followed by the appointment of new editors with 3m of extra money to spend on journalists – most of it spent by Douglas on the Sunday title.

The new changes were recommended by a management consultant brought in by the newspapers’ new owner Lord Hollick. Extra space being created by the new management has led to internal speculation that Hollick’s TV sales operation TSMS or research company NOP may be moving to the Express’ Blackfriars offices.

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