60 jobs under threat in widescale regional cuts

Reports in today’s trade press suggest widescale job cuts across Newsquest regional newspapers, including the Northern Echo, and at Johnston Press’s Midlands group.

Based on claims by the NUJ published by the Press Gazette, as many as 60 jobs could be cut, some through voluntary redundancies and early retirement. The impact on sports desks has yet to be resolved.

In Darlington, 18 jobs could go as the Echo is to cut back to a single edition. The Press Gazette reports that the job cuts would be mainly in production departments.

Nearly twice as many jobs could be cut through a “reorganisation” at Johnston Press’s weekly newspaper division in the Midlands. The 34 job cuts, including in editorial, will be made at Aylesbury-based Central Counties Newspapers, which publishes 18 weeklies including the Leamington Spa Courier and the Rugby Advertiser. A “…continual review of business efficiency” was cited by Keith Ridley, Central Counties Newspapers managing director.

The third set of cuts reported involve eight jobs at two Newsquest newspapers in York, the York Press and the weekly Gazette and Herald.

Last month NUJ members at the York Press and associated titles held a five-day strike over pay.

The NUJ Father of the Chapel Sam Southgate told Press Gazette that with an editorial staff of 58, the cuts would affect the quality of the newspapers. “We continue to talk over pay but we will do everything we can to oppose these job cuts,” he said. “Coming off the back of the company’s refusal to give us a pay rise, I’m sure there will be great anger.”

Join the SJA today – click here for details and membership application form