New round of cuts as more staff go at 'Sunday Times'
THE Irish edition of 'The Sunday Times' has been forced to let more staff go in the latest round of cost-cutting.
The fresh batch of redundancies at the British title's Dublin office brings the paper's staff numbers down to 24.
Editor Frank Fitzgibbon said last night a number of the latest layoffs were within the paper's photography department. He added that no further layoffs were planned.
It follows the departure of several well-known names in recent years as it tries to make the title sustainable.
The newspaper's circulation in Ireland fell 8pc to 92,643 in the second half of last year, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
In recent years, 'The Sunday Times' has been slashing overheads, with columnists such as personal finance guru Jill Kerby leaving to save money.
The paper also came in for criticism in the recent Press Ombudsman's annual report, which highlighted the title for criticism over an article on businessman Dermot Desmond.
"Mr Desmond complained – among other things – that the article on December 16 (2012) had purported to describe his presence at a function the previous week, and stated that he was "in town" to accept an award, whereas he had not only been out of the country on the day in question, but the function had not even taken place," the Press Ombudsman John Horgan found.
"The newspaper told the Office of the Press Ombudsman that it had obtained the date of the function from the website of the function's organisers," Mr Horgan noted.
Competition in the broadsheet market at the weekends has greatly increased. Earlier this year our sister title, the 'Sunday Independent' launched a much-expanded business section.
A casualty of the increased competition in the market was 'The Sunday Business Post' which saw sales decline by just under 13pc to 34,322. Sales of the 'Sunday Independent', which is the biggest-selling Sunday paper, dipped 3.3pc to 229,382. The Dublin office of News International houses both the Irish editions of 'The Sunday Times' and 'The Sun'. The office was also home to the 'Irish News of the World'.
In 2011, the UK 'Sunday Times' and 'The Times' newspaper cut a total of 100 editorial posts from 700 jobs between the two titles.
Last year, News International again cut 20 editorial jobs at 'The Times' in the UK.