Read our new manifesto
22 - 26 March

Festival for a rapidly changing world

Topics include: Direct to consumer / E-commerce / Data & privacy / Martech

NUJ pleas for Express Newspapers sale amid fears owner Richard Desmond’s leadership will kill 4 titles

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has requested that Richard Desmond sells off his four UK newspapers under fear the media mogul is mismanaging the titles.

The journalism union urged billionaire Richard Desmond’s media group Northern and Shell to part ways with subsidiary Express Newspapers, the company responsible for publishing UK national newspapers the Daily Express, the Sunday Express, the Daily Star and the Daily Star Sunday.

The move came in response to the company slashing 30 per cent of its workforce as part of a £14m cost-cutting scheme according to the NUJ.

A statement from the NUJ chapel at Express Newspapers, said: “We fear Richard Desmond will go down in history as the man who killed four national newspapers. It is clear there is no future for these titles under the current ownership.

“To add insult to injury, staff learned that Mr Desmond, who made £360m profit on the sale of Channel 5 earlier this year, has also refused to give his entire workforce a pay rise for the seventh consecutive year.”

The statement built on a previous plea from the union in October 2014, urging Desmond to sell the newspapers “to someone who cares about journalism”.

Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the NUJ added: “The impact of these cuts on staff and journalism at the titles will be immense.”

“A strategy of giving the readers less and screwing more out of already stretched staff amounts to no strategy at all. The only interest Richard Desmond appears to have in his newspapers is the millions they afford him and in the political leverage and influence they provide him.”

This comes after Express journalists branded Desmond as ‘Britain’s greediest billionaire’ in July when the cuts first commenced.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis