The Independent Star is to close its Sunday newspaper the Irish Daily Star Sunday with the loss of 17 jobs. The Sunday newspaper did not record a profit since it was launched in 2003 and last year lost over €1 million. It was expected to lose more in the current year.
Paul Cooke, managing director, Independent Star, said the decision will not have any impact on the Irish Daily Star. Cooke said the daily paper has always performed well and is forecasting profits for 2010 of almost €6 million. Its strong performance comes at a difficult time for the Irish media generally.
He said the decision to close the Sunday paper was taken due to a combination of the current severe economic downturn and continued below-cost-selling by UK-based Sunday titles. “This has been a difficult decision and I want to pay tribute to the professionalism and hard work of all the staff,” Cooke said. “I also want to thank the advertising and marketing industry in Ireland for their support. Unfortunately, the deterioration in market conditions, particularly over the last two years, has left the company with no option but to cease publication.”
Star Sunday has a readership of 217,000, with two-thirds of them in the 15 to 44 age group. The paper never reached the critical mass to be a profitable venture in what is the most competitive day for newspaper titles with 18 titles available priced from €1.40 to €2.70. The daily paper employs 117 and Independent Star recently moved to new premises in Dundrum Town Centre.