KM Group plans to cut more jobs
THE family-owned KM Group, publisher of this newspaper, has announced the second phase of its major restructuring plan.
The plan involves consultation with staff in over 95 roles at risk, as well as a further 64 roles affected by outsourcing.
The company, which runs local newspapers, websites and radio stations across Kent, says the economic climate has deteriorated since phase one of the restructuring in the autumn.
In its statement to staff, the company said it had to take action “to survive and thrive” in current and future markets.
The group is planning to outsource its printing, mailroom and newspaper and leaflet distribution operations, and close two of its offices.
Managers are consulting all the staff affected by the proposals. The company will offer professional support and help to those at risk of losing their jobs.
Managing director Graham Mead said the company had no option but to move to the next stage of its restructure plan.
He said: “If we had any other option but redundancies we would take it, but the reality is that we have to restructure our business to be able to operate efficiently in this challenging environment and to position ourselves for the future.’’
“We will still have about 400 staff and believe we will still provide the best media service in Kent for all of our readers, listeners, visitors and customers.”
Chairman Geraldine Allinson said the measures were necessary for the company’s future.
“As I said last year, we hate to make anyone redundant but we really have no alternative given the current state of the economy.
“Our proposal to outsource our printing was a particularly difficult one to make with the company’s long and successful history of printing our own titles.”
The offices that are put forward for closure in the consultation are Folkestone and Thanet. The company plans to serve those towns from their other existing offices in Ashford and Whitstable. All the company’s newspapers, websites and radio stations would continue to be produced under the proposals. The consultation will go on until April.
KM Group’s newspapers have a weekly readership of 861,000. The group’s seven kmfm radio stations have a total of 161,000 listeners a week. Its websites have more than 200,000 unique visitors every month.