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05 September 2012

News - Johnston Eyes Digital Recovery

By Ben Turner @ 05:35 :: 1051 Views :: 0 Comments :: Article Rating
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Johnston Press blamed the Olympics for a slide in recent advertising sales but said a major digital push should start to pay off by the end of the year, according to MSN Money.

The company, which owns nearly 250 titles including The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post, said sales fell by 14.7% in the six weeks since the start of July after London 2012 hit advertising not directly related to the event.

But Johnston said an overhaul to "put digital at the heart" of the business would begin delivering results in the second half and throughout 2013 as title relaunches, cover price hikes and new websites boost performance.

Chief executive Ashley Highfield hailed a period of "tremendous activity" in the first six months.

This impacted newspaper sales revenues, which were down 3.1% in the first half, but digital revenues rose 8.4% in the half-year, with a "dramatic" increase in mobile audiences.

Johnston introduced iPad apps for seven of its titles and said The Scotsman app was downloaded 20,000 times in the half-year. It has also handed out iPads and new software to 1,000 of its sales staff under the overhaul and is starting to equip editorial staff with iPads, laptops and smartphones under plans for all its workforce to have the technology they need by the end of 2013.


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