The Daily Express has dipped below the 96 pages it promised to print each day.
On Monday and Tuesday this week the paper had 88 pages, despite a pledge, published on February 28, saying: “From now on the Daily Express is guaranteed to have a minimum of 96 pages every single day.
“That allows us more space for our exclusive news stories, in-depth features, cracking celebrity interviews, comprehensive sporting coverage and breaking City stories.”
One source described the pledge as an “idiot’s promise”.
The source says: “How can you guarantee a newspaper’s pagination on a daily basis? If you pledge something and then don’t produce, people start to ask questions. They are obviously short on advertising because it’s been very busy on the news front recently.”
A spokeswoman for The Daily Express says: “Express newspapers is committed to increasing the pagination and providing better value for its readers.”
Last week Express Newspapers announced that it was axing 145 journalists in a bid to cut costs.
Richard Desmond, who took over Express Newspapers last November, has diverted cash to sign star journalists from other titles.
Desmond has recently secured the services of Sun football reporter Brian Woolnough for the Daily Star, television columnist Charlie Catchpole for the Express and celebrity photographer Jason Fraser for the group’s newspapers and OK! magazine.