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Crunch time for Star and Express: seven-day operation on the way?

Tough days ahead at Richard Desmond's newspaper titles as reports say the Express and Daily Star owner wants to slash between £8m and £18m of costs at the titles.

Held much of its post-NotW sale

According to the Guardian, there are even doubts as to whether the Daily Star Sunday is viable with the return of News International to the Sunday market - despite the Star selling about 170,000 copies a week more than before the News of the World closed last July.

A move to a seven-day operation could be on the cards for the Daily Star and the Daily and Sunday Express

A key meeting between executives and union representatives was said to be set for Friday afternoon.

Paul Ashford, the editorial director responsible for the Daily Star, Daily Star Sunday, Daily Express and Sunday Express, outlined plans for a budget cut of as much as £18m at an earlier meeting.

A big problem: : Northern & Shell are under financial pressure because of the price war with Rupert Murdoch's Sun on Sunday. Both Desmond and Murdoch's titles are being sold at 50p.

With Desmond's attention back on the newspapers, said one source. "The company has made it clear nothing is safe, everything is vulnerable and comments about closing titles have been made."

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Noel Young

Former editor of Sunday Mail in Glasgow and Group Managing editor of Daily Record and Sunday Mail. Now Boston-based US correspondent for UK newspapers including Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Sunday Post. Material also syndicated by Edit International in Florida. US editor for The Drum.

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