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Desmond wields the axe

The newspaper group that owns Daily Star and Daily Express to cut 71 staff

Richard Desmond, the media tycoon, is to axe 71 editorial posts at his four newspapers. His company, Northern & Shell, informed staff on Friday that there would be cuts at the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday. The job losses come as part of a cost-cutting drive expected to save £5m. The group currently employs around 500 staff on its newspapers at offices in London, Glasgow and Broughton.

The news will come as some relief to Desmond's employees as there were fears that the Daily Star Sunday might close altogether in the face of competition from the newly-launched Sunday edition of News International's The Sun. However, it is understood that N&S management have promised to safeguard all four titles.

The job-losses follow a series of cutbacks at the Daily Star Sunday including the cancellation of columns by Sally Bercow and Matthew Wright. Reports state that there are also plans to pool content across the four newspapers.