Alma Media strengthens cooperation between its regional and local papers - Renewal of Alma Regional Media's operational model reduces staff by 103.5 work years

Alma Media Corporation   Stock Exchange Release   June 12, 2012 at 3:00pm (EEST)

ALMA MEDIA STRENGTHENS COOPERATION BETWEEN ITS REGIONAL AND LOCAL PAPERS
Renewal of Alma Regional Media's operational model reduces staff by 103.5 work years

In April 2012, Alma Media announced that it will introduce a significant change in the operational model of all of its regional papers. At the same time, Alma Media's regional and local paper business unit, Alma Regional Media, initiated statutory cooperation negotiations with its entire staff, a total of approximately 810 people, to plan for the change. At the start of the negotiations, Alma Regional Media preliminarily expected its staff might be reduced by no more than 135 full-time work years as a result of the operational model change.

The cooperation negotiations were concluded on Monday, June 11, 2012. The decisions resulting from the negotiations will reduce Alma Regional Media's staff by a maximum of 103.5 full-time work years. Out of these, 27 full-time work years will be reduced through voluntary agreements on termination of employment contracts and 32 work years through other solutions, for example through the expirations of fixed-term employment contracts, retirements and internal transfers within Alma Media Group. No more than 44.5 work years will be reduced through redundancies, including five work-years for which the employees concerned will be offered essential changes in their job descriptions. The number of redundancies may thus decrease to 39.5 work years. Additionally, there are currently 11 permanent and 14 fixed-term vacancies open at Alma Regional Media, and these will be offered primarily to people that would be made redundant.

The employer will offer supportive training to employees who will be made redundant or agree to terminate their employment contracts.

Alma Regional Media is being structurally reorganised to increase internal cooperation and to minimise overlapping functions. The organisation will in future be created based on functions instead of individual papers. Editorial content will be created by local editorial offices and virtual editorial offices working in multiple locations. The virtual editorial offices will be responsible for sports, culture and weekend content, to name a few examples. In addition, the cooperation between Alma Regional Media's local papers and the district offices of the regional papers will be strengthened by combining operational locations.

As far as commercial operations (circulation sales, advertising sales, customer service, advertisement production and marketing communications) are concerned, the organisations of regional papers and local papers appearing within their circulation areas will be combined by function and regionally.

-A significant change in the operational model, and the solutions involving a reduction of staff-as painful as they may be-are unavoidable in today's business environment. These decisions will secure the competitive position of our newspapers while at the same time responding to changes in reader behaviour. Closer cooperation between our papers and fewer overlapping functions will also enable us to improve quality when we organise our work correctly and allocate resources to local reportage. Our objective is to provide strong, financially independent regional media with a local interest wherever we operate, says Kari Juutilainen, Senior Vice President, Alma Regional Media.

Alma Regional Media comprises the regional newspapers Aamulehti, Satakunnan Kansa, Lapin Kansa, Pohjolan Sanomat and Kainuun Sanomat, as well as 29 local and city papers.

ALMA MEDIA CORPORATION
Rauno Heinonen, Vice President, Corporate Communications and IR

For more information, please contact:
Kari Juutilainen, Senior Vice President, Alma Regional Media, tel. +358 50 435 4159 (reachable after 4pm EEST)

Distribution: NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, principal media

Alma Media in brief

Alma Media is a dynamic media company whose best-known products are the Aamulehti, Iltalehti, Kauppalehti and Etuovi.com. Alma Media employs approximately 3,000 professionals. The company's revenue in 2011 totalled MEUR 316.2 with an operating margin of 13.3 per cent. Alma Media's share (ALN1V) is listed in the Mid Cap segment of the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. Read more: www.almamedia.com.

  • Date: 12.6.2012, 17:00
  • News type: Stock exchange release

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