Ringier Axel Springer plans to discontinue Style and cut 35 jobs
Declining advertising revenues for years and additional losses from Corona are causing Ringier Axel Springer Switzerland to put on the brakes - with an expected reduction of 35 jobs. In the future, the media company will focus on a new, convergent and downsized editorial team for Schweizer Illustrierte.
Especially the fashion and lifestyle magazine Style is heavily dependent on the advertising market and has suffered an additional decline since the Corona crisis, Ringier Axel Springer Switzerland wrote in a statement. The title's advertising revenues have halved in the last four years, it said. To avoid further losses, the magazine is to be discontinued and its editorial team disbanded. "The decision has been extremely difficult for us," Alexander Theobald, CEO of Ringier Axel Springer Switzerland, said in a statement. "Due to the steadily deteriorating market situation, exacerbated by the effects of the Corona crisis, we can no longer justify continuing the magazine." The printed edition of Style is expected to appear for the last time on August 20, 2020.
Style, 2006 as a side extension of the Swiss Illustrated under the name SI Style was launched, became a lifestyle magazine in its own right in 2008, and in 2016 was also named by the Swiss Illustrated decoupled. In 2013, the web presences of Swiss Illustrated and Style merged. In February 2020, Style underwent a final relaunch (Werbewoche.ch reported).
Bolero: continuation through external production
The setting of Style would also have consequences for the fashion and culture magazine Bolerowhich is currently produced by the same editorial team and will be produced externally in the future. "Bolero was put on a solid economic footing last year with the adjustment of the sales concept. However, due to the restructuring, production could no longer be realized internally in the future," says Alexander Theobald. "With outsourcing, we can design and ensure the continued existence of the magazine in a more flexible way." Bolero Published as a supplement to business publications since 2019 Handelszeitung and Balance (Werbewoche.ch reported).
Sabina Hanselmann-Diethelm leaves the company
With regard to the planned measures at Style and Bolero the current Editor-in-Chief Sabina Hanselmann-Diethelm would also leave Ringier Axel Springer Switzerland. "I regret this very much and thank her for her convincing work as Editor-in-Chief to date. Sabina Hanselmann-Diethelm has led the two titles with a great deal of passion, creativity and know-how and has always been intensively committed to the employees and looked after customers," said Alexander Theobald.
Schweizer Illustrierte: Merging Print and Online
In addition, the editorial offices of the Swiss Illustrated and SI online will be downsized and organizationally merged in order to work consistently across channels in the future. Nina Siegrist, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Swiss IllustratedI deeply regret the fact that we have to part with valued colleagues. The close integration of print and online should enable the traditional brand to achieve a positive result in the current market environment and continue to offer its readers high-quality journalism.
Consultation procedure opened with immediate effect
The savings that have become necessary envisage a total reduction of 35 jobs. A social plan is to be implemented for the corresponding employees - with measures that go beyond the legal requirements, as the media company emphasizes. The consultation process is open with immediate effect. Employees have until August 21, 2020 to submit alternative proposals on how the planned measures could be mitigated.
Syndicom regrets mass dismissal
The Syndicom trade union regrets that the corresponding measures have to be taken despite short-time working. In a statement, the union demands that a decent social plan be worked out for those affected and expects the company to cushion the consequences of the job losses.
The measures taken by Ringier Axel Springer would show that public support without guard rails would not save jobs. The example of Axel Springer shows that even successful companies immediately cut jobs during economic turbulence, despite short-time work, which the Federal Council and Parliament must take into account when they revise media subsidies: "If the federal government supports media groups with public money without guard rails, as planned, this money will flow primarily into corporate profits and dividends," the union says.