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Evening Standard to cut staff following Covid impact

The Evening Standard is preparing to cut up to 115 staff following the impact of the coronavirus crisis on advertising revenue and distribution.

Evening Standard to cut staff following Covid impact

As reported by Mariella Brown on the Society of Editors website:

Restructuring plans would see 40 per cent of the 167 newsroom staff affected – equivalent to the loss of 69 editorial positions, the FT reports.

Since the lockdown, the London-based daily has implemented saving measures including furloughing staff, implementing 20 per cent pay cuts for some staff, and temporarily suspending the ES Magazine supplement.

The Standard felt the loss of its commuter readership and turned to home delivery of the free daily newspaper as distribution fell from 800,000 copies pre-pandemic to under 500,000 in June’s ABC figures.

The restructuring proposals – subject to consultation with the group’s 341 staff – show a further 31 commercial jobs and 15 in distribution would be under threat.

The paper’s new editor Emily Sheffield has been tasked with driving the digital expansion of the title as the Standard’s previous editor George Osborne took up the position of editor-in-chief at the start of July.

An Evening Standard spokesperson said: “The proposed restructuring underway at the Evening Standard is a result of the difficult market conditions that have affected the entire media industry over recent times; these challenging conditions have been further accentuated by Covid-19.

“However, the changes also reflect the evolution of the Standard’s business priorities which are being defined by the changing behaviours and demands of our readers and customers.

“Under the new management team the Evening Standard will be focused on building its digital and mobile offering alongside print, whilst also developing a live events business with other new initiatives to be announced.”