Emap restructures magazine division for multi-platform future


It seems that Emap’s restructuring is far wider and deeper than was first thought.

In typical Emap-style, the project has an internal "codename": Magazines 2010. It all sounds quite exciting, but business at Emap hasn’t all been about award ceremonies and away-days. Not recently.   

Whilst the company’s business titles have remained strong, the sexy stuff  (consumer magazines) has struggled.

An official statement issued last month: "We anticipate that trading conditions in consumer media markets will
remain challenging in 2007/08
, although the prospects for B2B are
robust"

So the company is set to introduce some "operational efficiencies" – a bit of management jargon which can be translated into "redundancies" and "staff reapplying for their own jobs."

Having worked for the company, I know that management can be ruthless bastards. They’ll do anything to keep the City happy and to remain efficient.   

These days, the buzz is all about "multi-platform futures". The theory behind it is that just having your content in "dead tree" format is little outdated. We need content on phones, PDAs, the web, digital TV – everywhere!

As has been blogged previously, Tridion, a new whiz-bang CMS, is coming to some divisions of the company. Emap is also responding by setting up a number of centralised "design factories"

This will mean the merging of some subbing, production and design jobs.Traditionally, individual magazines had their own dedicated production team, it now seems that many of these areas will be pooled. 

Some jobs will definitely be axed. In my view, staff at Emap’s main offices in Peterborough desperately need a union to defend them. Unfortunately, Emap has a poor reputation when it comes to negotiating with the NUJ.

Other staff will be retrained to deliver content across multi-platforms. This could lead to more jobs. Or it could mean a lot more work for existing staff and no more pay. 

All of this bangs home the point that journalist students need to be "fully converged". It’s now no longer possible just to build a career in "print" or "radio"  –  the journalists of the future must do it all and do it well.   

Links:
David Cushman who works on car magazines at Emap discusses the move to a multi-platform future in his fantastic Blog.

The Guardian (Emap warns of job losses).