117 jobs at risk as Reader's Digest UK goes into admin

Publishing company Reader's Digest, has gone into administration
in the UK, putting 117 jobs at risk.
The decision comes after talks between the company's US parent group and the UK Pensions Regulator broke down. The dispute centred on how to pay down a £125m deficit in its UK pension fund.
Administrators said the UK magazine, which has more than 540,000 subscribers and was founded in 1938, would continue to trade while a buyer was sought. Reader's Digest had agreed a deal with the Pension Protection Fund to pay off a small part of the deficit, but the regulator vetoed the agreement. As a deal could not be done, the UK publisher said it would not be able to meet its pension obligations and so could not sustain operations.
Prize draws
The first edition of Reader's Digest was published in the US in 1922. Having begun as a collection of condensed articles, it started to include original content and is now mostly made up of specially commissioned pieces.
More recently it became known for its prize draws. The administrators said last week's draw took place as scheduled, with the prize fund kept in a trust, but arrangements for future draws were to be reviewed. The magazine also became associated with free gifts - from pens and alarm clock radios to encyclopaedias - as it looked to lure new readers.
However, Reader's Digest has failed to shake off its image as a publication favoured by older people and in dentists' and doctors' waiting rooms. Despite attempts to modernise, including launching an online edition, its readership in the UK has fallen dramatically from about two million in the 1990s.
"In many cases its readers have been, quite literally, dying off, and nobody has been replacing them," said BBC correspondent Nick Higham. "And the underlying business, like lots of other magazines has struggled, as people bought fewer of them as they migrated to the internet. That has made life very difficult."

No comments:

Post a Comment