The reason why UK print media group, Trinity Mirror is cutting 15 journalists has become very clear with a trading update, which revealed a continuing slide in print advertising and circulation revenues that the company’s digital revenues can’t replace. The company spun the cuts as a way of meeting any problems from the Brexit vote hitting its profits. The reality is that the slide before Brexit has prompted the cuts and more could be in store as the slide continues at its current rate.

On Friday, the publisher of the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, and more than 150 local and regional newspapers, reported that its print advertising sales had fallen 17% year on year in the past six months. And despite a 14% increase in revenue from digital operations in the period, the slide in print ads meant overall revenues were down 8% from the first half of the 2014-15 year.

It is further evidence that the relentless decline in print ad revenues continues to undermine the UK newspaper industry. Print advertising revenues across the sector fell 15% in 2015 and analysts (Alice Enders of Enders Analysis) predict that the UK’s vote for Brexit could lead to a 20% fall this year.

Peter Fray

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