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Seven deputy editors facing redundancy

Seven deputy editor jobs at weekly papers in London are under threat of redundancy after a newspaper publisher proposed a series of changes.

Archant’s London division announced the plans to staff yesterday which include closing its Bethnal Green office and transferring publication of a number of titles to the company’s Ilford office from 29 November.

The group plans to create a centralised subbing unit in Ilford for titles currently produced at the two centres – the Recorder series, Barking and Dagenham Post, Stratford and Newham Express, East London Advertiser, Hackney Gazette, Stoke Newington Gazette and The Docklands.

But six deputy editor posts at these titles could now be made redundant, as could a deputy at Archant London’s Times series, which is published from Swiss Cottage, and consultation is now taking place with affected staff.

Bob Crawley, editorial director at Archant London, said: “Our proposal is to create a common production unit for the titles currently published out of the Bethnal Green office and those published from the Ilford office.

“Following our decision to close the Bethnal Green office we took the opportunity to review the editorial production operation for these titles.

“We believe the proposed common production unit will allow us to introduce uniform standards, deliver efficiencies, have greater flexibility for covering illness and holiday periods therefore reducing freelance costs, share relevant content easier, introduce more cross-title platforms and develop editorially-led commercial projects.”

The company’s announcement said the Bethnal Green office was being closed as its lease was about to expire and because of the high costs of alternative office space.

Under the move, three existing sub-editors at Ilford and two from Bethnal Green will work in the common production unit and report to the group design editor, while a number of new subbing roles will be created.

Content for the newspapers will be managed by individual editorial teams based in Ilford, with editors retaining control of the titles.

The company is also proposing to appoint an editor for its Times series in Swiss Cottage but make the position of deputy editor redundant.

6 comments

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  • October 27, 2010 at 10:55 am
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    Keep this headline handy on the stone – only a matter of time before you need it for a Trinity Mirror/MEN Media story.

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  • October 28, 2010 at 10:31 am
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    Hubs don’t work for good district reporting. Layout before text is a plaque on local journalism. Newspaper management just doesn’t get it. But let’s keep the number crunchers happy.

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  • October 28, 2010 at 10:46 am
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    All the local news from Hackney, fresh from an office in Ilford.

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  • October 28, 2010 at 1:57 pm
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    Yet again, more manegement-speak jargon about ‘cross-title platforms’, whatever they heck they are. Do readers talk about ‘reading stories on the local platform’ rather than in the local newspaper? Here we go with yet more erosion of basic local newspaper standards.

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  • October 29, 2010 at 2:42 pm
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    ‘Common production unit’. Of course common can be defined in several ways. My favourite is ‘of mediocre or inferior quality’. As for getting rid of deputy editors in other large groups, I didn’t know there were any left. I thought they were all called assistant multimedia platform content executive or something.

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