The People is to axe a sports reporter from its staff, among six job cuts announced which will see the Trinity Mirror-owned Sunday title operate without any staff photographers.
Elsewhere, it is being reported that as many 200 staff may be affected by job cuts at News International, publishers of The Sun, The Times, News of the World and Sunday Times.
The job cuts at the People are the latest in a series of cuts at Trinity Mirror titles. According to the latest available ABC figures, the People averaged a circulation of 592,306 in December, a year-on-year circulation decline of nearly 13 per cent.
It seems likely that all six departures will be voluntary redundancies, negotiated with the British Association of Journalists. As well as a sports reporting job, other posts will be lost from the news desk and from production and admin staff.
The two redundancies from the pictures department will leave the People with no staff photographers.
“The paper is not exempt from the wider, challenging economic climate,” Trinity Mirror said. “In light of this we have to improve the efficiency of the title to ensure it remains as competitive as possible.”
Over at Wapping, the job cuts expected to be announced in the next two weeks follow a set of recommendations from the Boston Consulting Group – recently announced as sponsors of the 2012 London Olympics. The cut-backs are expected to see further “integration” between online and newspaper subbing desks.
The Sunday Times recently cut its freelancers’ day rate for football match reports from Â£120 to Â£110 – the same rate that was being paid 20 years ago – and further cuts in payment rates to agencies are expected.
This has prompted the National Association of Press Agencies to call an emergency meeting of its members to discuss the proposed reduction in the rates. “We need to be paid economic rates in order to continue a flow of entertaining news, pictures and features and the cost of supply has been going up, not down,” said NAPA treasurer, Chris Johnson.
According to a report on MediaGuardian.co.uk, overall the cuts could affect as many as 10 per cent of NI journalists.
The report quotes sources close to the plan that the loss-making Times could bear the brunt of the cuts, while the more profitable Sun will see more protection.
In November, News Corporation reported a 30 per cent drop in profits for the three months to the end of September, leading the chairman and chief executive, Rupert Murdoch, to warn of more cost cutting to come.
â–¡ In Glasgow, where before Christmas all 250 staff at the Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening News were told to re-apply for just 210 jobs – mostly on reduced terms – the redundancy process is back on today.
Management had suspended negotiations earlier this month, even though it had 40 volunteers to accept terms, because of a dispute with the NUJ when they refused to relinquish legal rights.
But it is being reported today that the Herald Group management is insisting that anyone taking redundancy will sign an amended agreement.
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