Trinity Mirror’s cutbacks across the Local World portfolio have at times seemed brutal.
Some £10m was cut from the Local World budget last year, with a further £15m to go this year, as Trinity has sought to recoup its £154m outlay from December 2015 on the 80 per cent of Local World it did not already own.
The transformation plan rolled out across the UK since then has seen Trinity make widespread redundancies, but also create a smaller number of new digital roles and take a digital-first approach to publishing.
The graphs below show that print declines at the Hull Daily Mail, Plymouth Herald, Leicester Mercury and South Wales Evening Post are shocking, and accelerating, but broadly in line with both the rest of the market and the long-term trend.
They also show that strong digital growth started under Local World has quickened over the last year and is outpacing print decline. So as far as web traffic goes, Trinity Mirror’s transformation plan for the former Local World titles is working.
The question for Trinity Mirrror, and the whole industry, is of course, how to turn that growing digital audience into a sustainable business model. Because for Trinity, and most other newspaper publishers, print revenue is falling faster than digital revenue is rising.
These graphs show print-circulation and average daily unique web browsers as measured by ABC.
Note: the most recent web figures quoted are for January 2017.