Andy Jonesco, the newly appointed sales director at Express
Newspapers, is set to make 25 people redundant as part of a sweeping
reorganisation across the three Express-owned titles.
News of the redundancies was broken to staff at a mass meeting on
According to insiders, Jonesco asked the sales force for 25 voluntary
redundancies by Wednesday or to prepare for compulsory redundancies by
the end of the week.
Jonesco is also believed to be considering hiring up to ten new sales
staff to help reshape the Express’s offering.
Although the new structure has not yet been unveiled, Jonesco has said
that three departments will merge, with research, promotions and client
service forming a single new business department. The travel sales team
is to be integrated into the main sales group.
As with the sweeping editorial redundancies last year, the sales team
has been told there will be a cap on redundancy payments of pounds
50,000 - far less than some feel they are entitled to - and a minimum
of six months’ pay.
The unrestrained nature of the redundancies has taken many in the
industry by surprise. Jonesco declined to comment on the changes, which
have been expected since last October when it was announced that
Jonesco, then sales director at the Telegraph, was to replace Christine
Costello at the Express (Campaign, 18 October 1996).
Exactly who will lose out is as yet unclear. The position of Julie
France - Jonesco’s and previously Costello’s deputy - is likely to be
safe, according to industry sources.
An Express spokeswoman confirmed the 25 redundancies but denied that
staff had been given an ultimatum. ’There will be a few days of
discussion before a decision is made,’ she said.