Metro culls sales force in cost cutting measure

DMGT morning freesheet Metro is slashing its agency sales force by more than half as part of a "group wide strategy to generate cost-savings", just before the festive season.

Metro: DMGT title slashes agency sales team
Metro: DMGT title slashes agency sales team

Only six of its 13 agency sales representatives will remain at the paper. Seven have either already been made redundant, or have been put on "a period of consultation". Many of the top 10 agencies are expected to lose their individual representative on the title.

The remaining sales representatives are expected to report to the executive director for sales, Grant Woodthorpe.

The culling is understood to have been announced to Metro staff on Thursday (1 December).

A spokeswoman for Metro said: "Metro has announced a period of consultation with staff which will result in some redundancies from the commercial side of the business.

"The review is necessary as part of a group-wide strategy to generate cost savings. The proposed realignment will create a leaner, more agile organisation, which will help Metro build on its reputation as a successful media brand.

"It will prepare Metro for the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in the rapidly changing media landscape."

Announcing its results at the end of last month, DMGT said operating profits fell from £89m to £76m at Associated Newspapers, its national group which includes Metro, while revenues were down from £883m to £862m.

Across Northcliffe Media, which houses more than 100 regional titles, profits fell from £27m to £17m, while revenues were down from £261m to £236m in the period.

In March Linda Grant, commercial development director at Associated Newspapers, replaced Steve Auckland, the managing director of Metro who was promoted to managing director of Northcliffe Media.

Follow Mark Banham on Twitter @Banham72

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