Mediahuis Ireland, the publishers of both the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent, have announced that they will be looking to reduce their staff count through voluntary redundancies. The redundancies are to come from the editorial team, which includes approximately 350 people across the company’s titles. However, no specific number of redundancies have been mentioned.
In a statement released on the matter, Mediahuis Ireland said the redundancies are part of their “ongoing digital transformation programme”, as well as in response to the “challenging macro-economic influences and changing consumer behaviour”. Cormac Bourke, the Editor-in-Chief at Mediahuis Ireland, informed the staff of this news in a meeting held on Tuesday. The company is also planning to shift its focus to digital-first publishing.
The statement went on to say that the voluntary redundancy programme is intended to reduce staffing levels across their editorial function. “We need to ensure a single unified journalistic organisation from which we can create and support different outputs, different formats and different platforms,” the company said. They further added that they are aware of the impact this transition will have on the people involved, and that they will be doing their best to support them through this process.
Mediahuis Ireland is also the publisher of titles such as the Belfast Telegraph, Sunday World, The Herald, and regional titles such as the Kerryman and the Corkman. The group also has 70,000 digital subscribers across its portfolio of websites. In their 2022 financial results, their profits dropped from €117.3m in 2021 to €65.3m, which was mainly attributed to high inflation and the cost of paper. However, turnover at the company stood at €1.2bn in 2022, up from €1.13bn the previous year.
These redundancies are the latest in a series of changes the company has made in response to the changing media landscape. As more and more people are turning to digital for their news, companies like Mediahuis Ireland are having to adjust to the new trends in order to stay competitive. The company has said that it will need to be “more efficient” going forward, and that this is part of their effort to make sure they are able to keep up with the changing times.
It remains to be seen how many people will be affected by the voluntary redundancy programme, and how the company’s digital transformation programme will take shape going forward. However, the company has said they will be doing their best to support their staff through this transition, and to communicate transparently with them. This news is sure to have a major impact on the media industry in Ireland, and it will be interesting to see how it affects the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent’s presence in the coming months.