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The Fed’s National President Jason Birks has expressed his disappointment that a national newspaper group is to increase the cover price of one of its Sunday titles, while cutting the percentage margin that news retailers receive.

The Sunday Express will increase in price from £2 to £2.10 from this Sunday (July 31).  At the same time, the newspaper’s publisher Reach is slashing the percentage margin paid to retailers from 19.5 per cent for each copy sold to 19 per cent.

Mr Birks said: “These constant cuts to retailers’ margins are not sustainable and I implore all publishers – national and regional – to consider the consequences of these decisions. This announcement from Reach follows on from regional publisher Newsquest cutting retailers’ profits by increasing the cover prices on a number of its local titles in the northern part of the country but keeping the full amount to itself.  Publishers are taking these actions without even considering the work that retailers must do to ensure their titles are available and sold.”

Mr Birks said he was further disappointed with the move, given that that the Fed had been working closely with Reach over recent years to support its national and regional titles.

Fed officials are due to meet with Reach’s top brass shortly and Mr Birks assured Fed members that this subject would be top of the agenda at this meeting.

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