— Newsquest’s Northern Echo cuts 17 jobs: It’s hard to imagine things getting worse in the-regional newspaper market. The latest paper to lay off staff is Newsquest’s Darlington-based Northern Echo, which is cutting 17 journalists — one in six of its editorial staff. Staff were also told today their pay would be frozen at least until April and possibly until 2010, and that five district offices would be shut. This all comes five months after the paper went from five regional papers to two. Don’t be surprised if there is industrial action at the Echo in the coming weeks. Via Press Gazette.
— EMI/Terra Firma chief talks tough on layoffs: Never one to mince words, Guy Hands, boss of PE company Terra Firma, which owns the music label EMI, says there is a great deal of room for investment companies to do more of what they are good at: cutting costs and staff. Speaking at an investor conference in Paris, he declared that “90 percent of the people you hired are not money-makers”. He also warned that PE funding could halve as government lending to banks restricts their lending ability. From Dealbook.
— Advertisers say ‘don’t scrap ITV (LSE: ITV) ad protection scheme': Advertisers are calling on Ofcom not to ditch the Contract Rights Renewal scheme, a policy developed to protect them against ITV’s unfair market dominance, now that ITV’s dominant position is under threat. Bob Wootton, director of media and advertising at advertising body ISBA, said in a letter to Ofcom that ITV’s market position “remains clearly dominant” and argued that “regulatory intervention regarding its pricing remains necessary”. CRR prevents ITV from raising prices if its audience falls — but of course chairman Michael Grade would argue that things have changed since 2003, when the policy was written, so ITV should be given free reign in the ad market. From Telegraph.co.uk.
— ASDA launches digital magazine downloads: ASDA has moved into the digital magazines download market in a deal with mag distributor John Menzies. The ASDA Digital Newagent offers 130 titles for download from 11 publishers in return for a monthly subscription. The retailer joins WHSmith and ITV who also have similar deals with John Menzies Digital. Via NMA.co.uk.