EXCLUSIVE: Newsteam Group suspends new Telegraph orders over margin cut

"Considering everything we’ve done in the last year to protect their customers this is not how we expect to be treated."

Major home news delivery (HND) firm Newsteam Group is to suspend deliveries to new Telegraph customers in response to the publisher’s latest margin cut.

The company, which covers approximately 70% of England and Wales said it was taking a stand over the Telegraph’s ‘disrespectful’ attitude towards retailers. From 6 February, margins on the Saturday Telegraph will fall to 19.1% until August – the lowest of any national newspaper.

Former Express circulation director Paul Goddard is now client services director at Newsteam Group, which delivers to more than 45,000 customers per day, including 7,254 Saturday Telegraph readers. Speaking to RN, Goddard explained the ability to order the Telegraph through Newsteam Group would be removed from DeliverMyNewspaper and the company’s own channels. The firm said existing Telegraph orders would still be delivered.

Separately, letters will be sent out to all of the group’s existing Saturday Telegraph readers criticising the Telegraph’s actions and introducing a 4p delivery surcharge on the title to cover the loss of income associated with the margin cut.

Explaining the measures, Goddard said: “We’re upset with the Telegraph on two fronts, the first is this terms freeze. Considering everything we’ve done in the last year to protect their customers this is not how we expect to be treated. The second is the Extinction Rebellion recharge that happened in December. Our customers had already been credited for the day and it’s not feasible for us to recharge them, so we had to take a £16,500 hit.”

Newsteam has nearly doubled its customer count under lockdown. In a recent report, Newsteam said it helped stem publisher losses by ‘stepping in’ to acquire rounds from retailers struggling to remain in business during the pandemic, saving up to 1,700 HND orders. The acquisitions also expanded the firm’s reach into new areas including Glasgow, Dundee, Fife and parts of Norfolk.

The actions by Newsteam Group follow protests by retailers last year when the Telegraph last cut its partner percentage margins. The Co-op removed the Telegraph from sale while WHSmith kicked the paper from its news stands and into its business magazine section.

RN approached Telegraph Media Group for comment and is awaiting their response.


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