Weekend and You on the move

Jo Francis
Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Associated Newspapers has given its incumbent print supplier notice that the production of Weekend and You magazines will be moving to another printer.

Weekend and You: more than 2m supplements required weekly
Weekend and You: more than 2m supplements required weekly

In June Printweek revealed the work was up for review, with changes in the availability of paper supply believed to be one of the driving forces. 

Liverpool gravure and web offset printer Prinovis has printed the two titles for the publisher, part of DMG Media and the giant Daily Mail & General Trust group, since Polestar went bust five years ago. 

Printweek understands that Prinovis has informed its employees and clients that its contract will not be renewed. 

Industry sources told Printweek that the work will move to YM Group in just two months’ time, with production commencing at Chantry on Friday 8 October on its KBA 818 72pp web press and on the currently mothballed Goss M4000 64pp.

The M4000 was originally installed at Polestar Colchester in 2005, before being moved to Chantry in 2014 as part of a revamp of Polestar’s web platform at the time. 

YM Chantry is also home to the 64pp short-grain Sunday 5000 that came out of Polestar Sheffield, and a six-unit 16pp M600. 

It’s understood that the contract for You magazine has been agreed on a multi-year basis, with a break clause, while the tabloid format Weekend is on a rolling contract because DMG aims to bring production in-house on its own presses, potentially as soon as the first half of next year. 

According to industry sources, Walstead Group also carried out print tests and was invited to quote for Weekend. 

The Daily Mail’s Saturday edition, which includes Weekend, sells more than 1.5m copies a week, while the Mail on Sunday and its accompanying You magazine has an ABC of 839,633 for the UK and Republic of Ireland. 

Chantry specialises in high volume print runs with short lead times, and the win will involve the site taking on the production of around 2.5m extra magazines a week, adding to the list of time-sensitive weeklies the site already produces for clients including Reach and Bauer Media.  

A Muller Martini stitching line is being relocated from York Mailing to Chantry, which also runs two Ferag stitching systems. 

YM’s recently-filed accounts, for the year ending 31 May 2020, included a note about “growth from expected contract wins in its traditional sectors” as part of its financial projections.

Neither YM Group or DMG Media / Associated Newspapers had commented at the time of writing, while Prinovis UK managing director Richard Gray was on holiday and unavailable for comment. 

It’s a busy period for the Daily Mail & General Trust, which will be de-listed from the stock exchange after 90 years as a listed PLC if a planned disposals takes place and its shareholders accept an offer from the group’s majority shareholder, the Rothermere family. 

The group includes a portfolio of businesses in newspapers, events and exhibitions, insurance risk and property information as well as an early stage ventures wing. The deal is subject to a number of preconditions, including the sale of its stake in car sales business Cazoo and its insurance risk wing.  

This week Lord Rothermere and DMGT gained the agreement of the Takeover Panel to extend the deadline for the family’s £810m bid, via Jersey-registered holding company Rothermere Continuation, until 30 September. It could be extended further, with approval. 

Separately, YM Group has appointed a new non-executive director, restructuring and turnaround specialist Steve Smith of Icknield Consulting. 

Smith said he was introduced to the business by YM’s backer Pricoa Capital, and assisted with last year’s loan note conversion to equity. 

His colleague David Lightowler, a cash management expert, has also been working at YM in recent months. 

“One of my colleagues in Icknield is currently supporting YMG’s finance team in a part-time temporary treasury role whilst one of the team is on maternity leave,” Smith told Printweek. 

Smith was appointed on 30 June, with the notification reaching Companies House in electronic filling format on 29 July. 

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