30 January 2015

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Trinity Mirror to axe 26 jobs in North-East

Trinity Mirror is set to axe 26 jobs in Newcastle as one of its flagship evening titles moves to early-morning printing.

The Newcastle Evening Chronicle, currently printed mid-morning, is to move to a single-edition structure with the aim of getting the paper into shops 2-3 hours earlier.

It will mean a restructure in the editorial department that places 11 jobs at risk of redundancy, with a further 15 print jobs also under threat.

The changes were announced to staff at lunchtime today on what has proved to be one of the blackest days in the recent history of the regional press.

Earlier Northcliffe Media announced it is switching its South West daily the Torquay Herald Express to weekly publication, with the loss of around 16 posts.

And Johnston Press is axeing 18 jobs at its South Yorkshire division, including two weekly editor’s roles.

Other major announcements in the last 24 hours have seen Archant announce the closure of its Harlow-based Scene series with the loss of seven jobs.

And it also emerged today that seven senior executives with Mold-based NWN Media have been made redundant, including three weekly deputy editors.

In a statement, Trinity Mirror said the change in print time would enable the Evening Chronicle to reach outlets much earlier in the day.

“The changes will provide the opportunity to improve circulation trends by ensuring the Chronicle is in the shops for the critical lunchtime period,” it said.

Managing Director David Simms said: “This restructure aims to help our newspapers and websites come through the recession and ensure a future for our media brands in the North East.

“We are committed to achieving as many of these potential redundancies as possible by voluntary means.”

The proposals entail moving the printing of the Chronicle to Teesside, placing the 15 printing roles in Newcastle at risk of redundancy.

Consultation with all affected staff has begun today.

Today’s job losses follow a further six editorial redundancies that were announced last week at the Teesside Gazette.

A company spokesman said:  “There is a proposed reduction in editorial staff numbers of six and we hope to achieve as many of these as possible by voluntary means.”


  1. observer

    All these job losses, yet the unis are still producing as many graduates in journalism or media studies as ever. The sad thing is that these bright young things will probably have to be content with working in Subway.

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  2. Hacked off

    So they need fewer journalists but the same number of sales reps?

    Funny that, isn’t it?

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  3. Steve Dyson, Birmingham

    Sad truth is that this sounds like a full change to ‘overnight’ publication, especially with the Teesside print works being in Middlesbrough – 38 miles away. My guess is a ‘chocs away’ editorial wrap deadline of 11pm… with late, late changes in emergencies of not much later than midnight. Not much room for anything else on those Teesside presses – with nationals to print (Daily Mail), let alone the local Evening Gazette. Hope I’m wrong, but I doubt it.

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  4. hobson

    So is the Chronicle effectively becoming a morning paper? Any news on how many pages will be produced overnight and how many, if any, will still be produced “live”, Paul?

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  5. Steve Dyson, Birmingham

    Not quite a full overnight… Insider tells me Chronicle’s official off-stone time will be 3am, with later option available for big news breaks. Well done Newcastle team for battling to retain a semblance of on-day opportunity, and best wishes at what must be difficult time.

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  6. Damnation

    And with that comment, Steve Dyson completes his transformation from have-a-go-editor to told-you-so-know-it-all. You, more than anyone, should know how upsetting it is for people working in newsrooms to have people not in possession of the full facts to be speculating from the sidelines.

    This, of course, is perfectly acceptable for someone who wishes to just comment on a story but you are someone who is trying to make money out of the industry as a consultant. Perhaps it would be smart to open that contacts book of yours and ask the people involved what the implications are?

    I could go on and mention what a success on-day publication of the Birmingham Mail was on your watch, but that would be churlish.

    Without knowing the facts, you just make things worse.

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  7. Damnation

    So you were wrong Mr Dyson. Perhaps putting that call in before writing your first comment would have been more professional?

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  8. Steve Dyson, Birmingham

    Comment facilities are for breaking thoughts, and allow constant updates. But I fully understand it’s a sensitive time up north. Again, best wishes to all involved.

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  9. Mr I

    What’s the next step? Merging the Chronicle and The Journal into one morning publication? This is so sad.

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  10. twin_towers

    Hell, is there collusion here? Have the various newspaper groups got their heads together so all this bad news comes out on the same day? As George Osborne says, we’re all in it together — and the ‘it’ we’re in is the sh*t.

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  11. South Yorkshire Times reader, Mexborough

    Further to my previous comment, this story is a prime example as to why the South Yorkshire Times should not be allowed to be destroyed: http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2011/news/weekly-sees-sales-up-67pc-after-death-crash-rewrite/

    Such dedication from staff is rare in any industry these days.

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  12. South Yorkshire Times reader, Mexborough

    Re: “And Johnston Press is axeing 18 jobs at its South Yorkshire division, including two weekly editor’s roles.”

    At a guess, one of the weeklies in question is the South Yorkshire times, which no doubt will be promptly merged with the Doncaster Free Press. A travesty.

    Mexborough has been home to the South Yorkshire Times for many decades. Over recent years it has enjoyed a revival, which can be attributed to the great editorship of Jim Oldfield, who has steered the paper from being the ad-heavy, news-light rag that it was maybe five years ago, to the rich source of local news that it is today.

    If my suspicions are correct, then JP’s management should be ashamed of themselves. Destroying a paper that is part of a town’s heritage, whilst they can rest on their laurels and no doubt retire with a big fat pension, having done little that has directly benefited the South Yorkshire Times.

    Oh well, as long as *DONCASTER* still has its local paper, that’s all that matters…

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  13. Confused

    Er, since when did the comment box on a blog be just for breaking thoughts and to allow constant updates? If you’re a journalist, you should check your facts before posting information and commentary, no matter where it gets posted. It’s the only way to protect your journalistic reputation. Checking facts before writing is all that keeps journalists and everyone else apart. Steve Dyson, please take note. How can we take your blog seriously if you don’t act like a journalist?

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  14. Midlander (there can be only one)

    Well the same thing in the Midlands led to the Birmingham Post turning into a weekly… Sad days, and I know the North East operation is not what you could describe as over staffed in any case.

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  15. Steve Dyson, Birmingham

    Calm down and read carefully, ‘Confused’. The phrases ‘sounds like’ and ‘my guess’ in the original message signal conjecture on precise timings. My hat was tipped 20 minutes later when I discovered a semblance of on-day deadlines. But in reality how much better is 3am than midnight given the emergence of news between those two times and the likely late staffing? Your ire (and ‘Damnation’s’) might be better aimed at those demanding such short-term cost-savings that could hit the Chronicle’s hard-earned newsy reputation.

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  16. Confused

    You could have checked your facts first, then not had to correct yourself. That’s my point. journalistic values shouldn’t go out the window just because you are commenting on something. You wouldn’t say it doesn’t matter a story being guess work in the first edition because you an get it right in the second, would you? you are right about the victory over management. Perhaps you could have asked them how they did it when you weren’t able to?

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  17. Steve Dyson, Birmingham

    You may be ‘Confused’, but best wishes with the changes. :-)

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