24 April 2014

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Vince Cable ‘concerned’ over Newsquest job cuts

Business Secretary Vince Cable has thrown his weight behind journalists unhappy about plans by Newsquest to make redundancies.

His local paper, the Richmond and Twickenham Times, is one of those affected by an announcement last week to make an unspecified number of redundancies among editorial staff over the next three months.

But Mr Cable said he is ‘very concerned’ about the plans because the title is a ‘highly regarded local paper’.

After the announcement, members of the National Union of Journalists’ chapel at Newsquest South West London passed a unanimous vote of no confidence against regional managing director Roger Mills and director of advertising Dene Stuart.

The chapel also unanimously agreed to hold a ballot for strike action, which will start next Monday, because of the proposed redundancies - with 25 NUJ members at newspaper offices in Twickenham and Sutton taking part.

Mr Cable said: “It’s a very important part of the local community and the Richmond and Twickenham Times has long been a highly regarded local paper with a good record. It is something that binds the community together.

“I know it has been under financial pressure for a long time because of the internet and problems with advertising but this is very worrying news – I’m very concerned about it.”

Two news editors in Newsquest’s Twickenham office have already been told one of them could lose their jobs under the restructure but other proposed redundancies have not yet been revealed by the company.

Other titles where journalists could be made redundant include the Sutton Guardian and Croydon Guardian.

Mr Mills was not available for comment at the time of publication.

3 Comments

  1. mememe

    Go Vince!

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  2. voice of reason, Bournemouth

    Financial pressure has little to do with it. This is greed. Look at the huge profits Newsquest is making to feed the fat-cat board and shareholders of their American parent company. Go on Vince, give them a hard time.

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  3. Capt. Starlight

    Newsquest has found it can make huge savings by cutting staff etc. while still publishing titles, with some merged centres. They have found that circulation does not dip too much because of the cuts and advertising income just about stays at the same level too. Many readers don’t realise quality has slipped a bit and keep buying the papers and Gannet say they are delighted with more than £5 million overheads trimmed off in the last year in the UK. Dividends and pay for senior management has increased as a result, as reported in the USA press.
    More cuts are planned for London area, Bucks etc. and out to Oxford if feasible after an assessment being made this summer at several sites. More centralised production centres are on the “possibles” agenda.
    We should wish Our Vince well in his endeavours….

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