Richard Desmond the porn and trivia publisher whose Northern & Shell holding company gained control of Express Newspapers last year [WAMN: 23-Nov-00], has entered into his second round of axe-wielding.

Following the culling of 100 staff early in the new year [WAMN: 26-Jan-01], senior Express executives will today meet union representatives to tout a £13 million redundancy package affecting a further 145 employees. Tooth and nail opposition is expected and there are already threats of strike action.

Meantime, Express Newspapers’ media account, about to be doubled to £20 million in annual spend according to group joint managing director Stan Myerson, is up for review. CIA Medianetwork, the incumbent since 1989, will slug it out toe-to-toe with OMD UK and MediaCom.

Commented Myerson: “We are new into the business and don't have any preconceptions about what we should be doing. It will be interesting to see what the three agencies can do." Creative activity will continue to be handled internally.

News source: Financial Times; CampaignLive (UK)