More Jobs Go At IPC Media as AOL Time Warner Tightens Leash

07 December 2001

Four months after its acquisition by AOL Time Warner, Britain’s largest magazine publisher IPC Media is to close six titles and heap 118 more jobs onto the pile containing the 115 axed less than a month ago. Nor will IPC rule out further closures and job losses.

Wielding a nice turn of phrase, IPC chief executive Sly Bailey calls the process of pre-Christmas sackings a “portfolio management review”. In an email to staff she outlines the execution warrant …

“As you know, we have been developing our business strategy to take account of changed market conditions and to focus on activities which will sustain our success commercially into the future ... As part of this ongoing portfolio review, we have today advised the IPC Media staff council of a number of organisational changes. This means we are expecting there to be further redundancies, affecting approximately 118 positions. This is deeply regrettable and of little consolation that the numbers affected are lower than in less strong and successful businesses than ours.”

The next meeting between management and the staff council is on Monday and more meetings are scheduled before Christmas. There will be a ninety-day staff consultation period and the reorganisation completed by mid-March.

Said an IPC spokesperson: “There are no more closures at this stage. But in this world we can never guarantee that. IPC always continually reviews its portfolio.”

The pace of portfolio review appears to be accelerating. In November the 74-year old Woman's Journal as well as Marie Claire Health & Beauty, Your Garden, Homes & Ideas, Your Life and the Complete Guide to Pregnancy all went to the wall. The media giant also culled its entire events and exhibitions division.

“Thank God,” observed one IPC staffer, “we don’t work for a ‘less strong and successful business than ours’.”

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