RBI to close Contract Journal

Reed Business Information (RBI) UK has announced the closure of its 130-year-old construction trade title Contract Journal.

Six editorial jobs are at risk of redundancy as part of the closure, which will also affect website contractjournal.com, parent company Reed Elsevier told staff in an email seen by Journalism.co.uk.

The last edition of Contract Journal will be published on November 25.

“Like the construction industry it serves, Contract Journal has been hit by an unprecedented recession which has cut advertising volumes by over 50 per cent. CJ is not the market leader and has made significant losses this year. The market shows no sign of recovery and is forecasted not to do so until 2011 at the earliest; the market isn’t large enough to support two weekly construction magazines,” said Mark Kelsey, CEO of RBI UK, in the email to staff.

RBI UK will also restructure editorial operations within its Road Transport publications division with four proposed editorial redundancies.

The group has also announced one editorial and one editorial support redundancy at title Personnel Today.

The publisher will also cut one member of its central production team, the email said.

Commercial roles will also be affected by the restructuring with a new group sales role across New Scientist and RBI UK’s digital media portfolio making two existing positions redundant. A further three permanent roles will be axed as a result of outsourcing in the publishers ad operations department.

Affected staff have entered a one-month consultation process and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has also been briefed.

At the end of 2008, parent company Reed Elsevier terminated the sale of RBI, citing poor market conditions.

In April RBI UK announced a voluntary redundancy programme, as part of plans to cut 50 staff. These proposed cuts came in addition to 35 planned redundancies announced in January.