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Trinity Mirror chiefs remain bullish as company reports 16 per cent drop in revenue

4 May 2017

Members of Trinity Mirror's board were challenged about the company's failure to protect a journalist's source during a question session at the publisher's annual general meeting.

Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, criticised the management for handing over details of a prison officer, Robert Norman, who was sent to prison for 30 months, for leaking stories to the Mirror.

He said:

"Newspapers have a duty to fight to protect their journalists' sources. These stories were in the public interest and Robert Norman should not have had to go to prison. What sort of message does this send out to other whistleblowers and those informing on bad practice?"

Simon Fox, Trinity Mirror's chief executive officer, said had they had acted on legal advice.

In its accounts, Trinity Mirror reported that revenue was down by 16 per cent year on year in the four months to 30 April. Print revenue had declined by 12 per cent, with digital growing by 6 per cent.

But, Simon Fox and David Grigson, Trinity Mirror chair, presented an upbeat message to shareholders at the London meeting. They said the company was enjoying robust profits, with an operating profit of plus 26 per cent, had a healthy cash flow and had benefited from the acquisition of the Local World newspaper group.

A statement from the company said: "We continue to grow our digital audience with digital display and transactional revenue growing by 19 per cent. Digital classified advertising, which is predominantly upsold from print, remains challenging and fell by 24 per cent."

Jane Kennedy, assistant organiser, told the board that the annual report should it future include a section on what the company was doing to solve the problem of stress-related illnesses of staff who are struggling with increasing workloads. National executive member Di Peasey took the board to task over the differential in pay and redundancy terms for former Local World employees now working for Trinity Mirror and Martin Shipton, who works for Media Wales, put in a plea for members who have been offered a lower-than-inflation pay rise of 1 per cent, while the CEO was potentially in line for a 33 per cent increase in his bonus and a £1,000 pay rise.

Simon Fox said talks about pay were continuing.

Trinity Mirror trading update

Tags: , trinity mirror, local news matters, local newspapers, national newspapers, agm, annual general meeting, accounts, digital, print, protection of sources, stress, pay, simon fox, david grigson, bonuses