Thursday, 30 April 2009

Another blow for regional media

Yet another blow for regional media with the announcement this week that Manchester Evening News publisher MEN Media is looking to cut 41 jobs from its local TV station Channel M.

Up to 41 out of 74 full-time staff face redundancy as it seeks to cut costs at the loss-making venture.

Described as "deeply regrettable but ... unavoidable", the decision comes a month after MEN Media announced that it would be closing all editorial offices of its 22 weekly newspapers in the north-west and axing up to 150 jobs across these titles and its flagship daily Manchester Evening News, including 78 editorial roles.

Challenging times for those in the PR industry who use this traditional communications channel to identify alternatives.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

LDV: A Bail Out Too Far?

The struggles at LDV are another nail in the West Midlands automotive sector and will undoubtedly generate more calls for Government bail-out money and cries of “why are the banks getting all this money, what about the automotive sector?”

Unfortunately, on this occasion, I can’t see the Government stepping in. A simple cost benefit analysis should demonstrate that LDV probably has neither the brand, nor the economies of scale to compete in the modern, globalised automotive sector, regardless of the current economic climate. Its competitors - Ford, Peugeot, Mercedes Benz etal have a scale which allows them to offer huge discounts to the fleet sector which I doubt LDV, without Gazprom propping it up, could compete with.

And, in the modern world, scale is everything I’m afraid. I remember talking to the CEO of one of the UK’s biggest buyers of white vans many years ago. His fleet, circa 60,000 vehicles on a three year replacement cycle, was dominated by Ford and Mercedes. Would he consider other manufacturers? “We get made some stupid offers, massive discounts to get a foothold in our fleet” he told me. “But the point is what the vehicle will be worth after three years? You can always get cash for a Ford or a Mercedes.”

The same could be said for bail-out money.

Monday, 27 April 2009

According to PR Week, we are now the highest ranked Midlands based PR consultancy based on fee income. It is nice to see all our hard work and effort pay off.