Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell, the owners of Express Newspapers and OK! magazine, is to cut another 70 journalists’ jobs, in addition to the 80 posts axed less than a year ago.
The move has outraged the NUJ. “It’s inconceivable that they can continue to produce competitive newspapers with the level of staff that will remain if these cuts go through,” said the NUJ’s Barry Fitzpatrick.
The job cuts come despite the businesses still making large profits, and the company’s highest paid director – which could be assumed to be Desmond – being awarded a hefty Â£10,000 wage hike to Â£641,000.
Richard Desmond’s RCD1 Ltd, published Â£41.6 million profits for 2008. The group includes the Daily and Sunday Express, the Daily Star, West Ferry Printers, and a group of satellite adult channels.
“During the consultation process we will demand justification for each job that the company is trying to cut,” Fitzpatrick told journalism.co.uk.
The latest plans are in addition to 80 Daily and Sunday Express redundancies proposed in September last year, as well as widespread cuts of long-term regular casual staff.
Initial plans a year ago to introduce a direct entry production system, in which reporters would “write into page”, were dropped, although this may be something the newspapers’ management will now re-visit.
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