Trinity Mirror, one of the largest British newspaper, magazine and digital publishing groups, is to change its name to Reach after completing a deal to buy the Daily Express newspaper.
Trinity Mirror agreed last month to buy the company that owned titles including the Express, the Daily Star and magazines such as OK! for £126.7m.
The name change comes as the company reported a 12.6% drop in group revenues to £623m last year. A “weak print trading environment” was blamed for the fall. Despite this, pre-tax profits rose to £81.9m from £76.5m the year before.
Trinity Mirror chief executive Simon Fox said the group had delivered a “strong” performance “in what remains a difficult trading environment for the industry”.
The acquisition of the Express and Star is at the centre of a strategy to replace declining print circulation and advertising sales with vast digital audiences consuming content for free. Mr Fox has rejected online subscriptions and is pursuing vast scale based on an advertising-funded business model.
“You either go to subscriptions and niche content or you go to scale, and that’s what we’ve chosen as our strategy,” Fox said, before adding, “Every news publisher needs to get to growth and there are very few who are yet there,” said Mr Fox.
The takeover of more print publications is designed to buy Trinity Mirror time to demonstrate it can deliver growth online to match the significant decline of the Daily Mirror and hundreds of UK regional print titles.
The Telegraph: Trinity Mirror boss shrugs off threat to cost-cutting plans after Star and Express deal
BBC: Trinity Mirror changes name to Reach after Express deal
The Guardian: Why Trinity Mirror bought the Express and Star titles