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Independent News & Media profit down 32 percent

Staff Writer | March 9, 2018
Profits at news group Independent News & Media (INM) fell almost 32 percent in 2017 amid grim media market conditions that saw advertising, circulation and distribution revenues all suffer.
Independent News & Media   Advertising, circulation and distribution revenues all suffer
INM chief executive Michael Doorly said the results “clearly demonstrate the major challenges facing our group and our industry” and that a full review of operations would include exploring how it might charge for its digital content.

Mr Doorly said INM had no plans to close any of its print titles and would work to extend the life of them, but he also said the group would focus on winning the custom of a younger generation deemed more likely to pay for online subscriptions.

“I think a subscription model is what we’re looking at,” he said. “But before you start looking at charging for services, the service has to be pretty decent and it needs to have value.”

The INM veteran, who was promoted to the chief executive role last October, said the group had “work to do” to better understand some of its niche audiences. A strategic plan, prepared with the assistance of consultants EY, has been presented to the newly configured board of INM, but it is still “early days”, he added.

“Two to three years is the kind of time we will need to change the business.”

With advertising and circulation revenues expected to wane further in an industry facing multiple challenges, “we don’t have any longer”, Mr Doorly said.