Pohjolan Sanomat considering comprehensive structural reforms

Alma Media Corporation       Press release      1 October 2013, 10:15 a.m. (EEST)


Pohjolan Sanomat, a newspaper published in Kemi, is considering the possibility of reducing the publication frequency of the print edition from seven to five issues per week. The majority of the newspaper's digital content will be put behind a paywall at the beginning of 2014 as part of Alma Regional Media's renewal of its newspapers' online services.

Alma Media Kustannus Oy, the publisher of Pohjolan Sanomat, will initiate personnel negotiations regarding these structural reforms, which can potentially lead to staff reductions of no more than nine man-years.

- The development of online and mobile content that Alma Media and Pohjolan Sanomat have engaged in for several years allows the newspaper to better serve subscribers across all digital channels. This opens up the possibility of reducing the publication frequency of the print edition from seven to five issues per week. Full seven-day service would continue with the help of online content, even if the print edition were to be published five days per week, says Kari Juutilainen, Senior Vice President of the Alma Regional Media business unit.

Juutilainen explains the planned changes at Pohjolan Sanomat are the consequence of transformational changes in the media industry. Circulation revenue has fallen as a result of value added tax being imposed on subscription fees, and a decline in advertising revenue, exacerbated by the economic recession, has wiped out profitability.

- Pohjolan Sanomat has operated at a loss for several years. Reducing printing, distribution and employee costs is impossible without substantial structural reforms. The region's bearing capacity is simply not sufficient to maintain a seven-day subscription newspaper, Juutilainen says.

Pohjolan Sanomat has a total of 43 employees, of whom 29 work in the editorial office. If implemented, the decrease in the publication frequency would primarily affect editorial employees.

Alma Regional Media also publishes Lounais-Lappi, a twice-weekly town paper, in the Kemi-Tornio region. No changes are currently planned for the operations of Lounais-Lappi.

In addition to Pohjolan Sanomat, the Alma Regional Media product family includes four seven-day newspapers, 17 local subscription papers and nine town papers. The circulation of Pohjolan Sanomat was approximately 17,000 in 2012.

For more information, please contact: Kari Juutilainen, Senior Vice President, Alma Regional Media, tel. +358 50 4354159

Alma Media in brief

Alma Media is a media company focusing on digital services and publishing. In addition to news services, the company's products provide useful information related to lifestyle, career and business development. The services of Alma Media have expanded from Finland to the Nordic countries, the Baltics and Central Europe. The company employs approximately 1,900 professionals (excluding distributors), of whom over 20% work outside Finland. Alma Media's revenue in 2012 totalled approximately MEUR 320. Alma Media's share is listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. Read more at www.almamedia.com

  • Date: 1.10.2013, 12:15
  • News type: Press release

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