Newspaper exit

Mirror editor Phillips leaves amid Reach jobs cull

Daily Mirror
Cuts are affecting the tabloid market

Alison Phillips will be resigning as editor of the Daily Mirror as part of job and budget cuts announced by the tabloid newspaper’s parent company Reach, according to a report.

Ms Phillips, 53, is said to be taking voluntary redundancy as the owner of the Mirror, Express, Star, Daily Record and Sunday Mail, and local newspapers across the UK proceeds with the biggest annual loss of jobs in the UK newspaper industry for decades.

The departure of Phillips, first reported by the Daily Drone, came just months after Reach announced plans to cut about 450 jobs – almost a tenth of its entire workforce – in an effort to trim operating costs by 5% to 6% this year.

Over the past year, Reach has culled almost 800 roles in total as part of a £30m cost-cutting drive after a slump in the digital and print newspaper advertising market.

There was some sadness about Ms Phillips’ departure, according to the Guardian which quoted a source saying she was “universally loved and respected by staff for her leadership and kindness”.

The value of Reach has slumped 30% over the last year as large social media platforms, most notably Facebook, deprioritised news, hurting the company’s digital revenue strategy.

The company reported in its third quarter trading update a 13.7% drop in digital revenue, with online page views slumping by 21% year-on-year in the first nine months. Meanwhile, with income from newspaper sales and advertising also continuing to decline, total print revenues fell by 6%.

Ms Phillips has led the Mirror since 2018, when she took over the post from Peter Willis to become the paper’s first female editor since 1903. She was formerly editor of short-lived newspaper the New Day, another venture of Reach, which was then called Trinity Mirror.

Jim Mullen, the chief executive of the company, has not ruled out further cuts, telling staff in November that the company must “set ourselves up to win” in an “increasingly fast-paced, competitive and customer-focused digital world.”

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