Regional publisher Northcliffe Media has announced a major editorial restructure which could lead to up to 38 job losses in its South East division.
Under the plans, 14 of the group’s weekly titles across Essex, Kent, Sussex and Surrey will see further moves to integrate editorial production and an increase in user-generated content.
Although existing editor roles will continue, the company also plans to create four senior editor positions to oversee its titles in the region, which until now have come under a single editor-in-chief, Alan Geere.
Ten jobs are at risk at the Courier Media Group, 12 at East Surrey and Sussex News and Media, five at Kent Regional News and Media and four at the Essex Chronicle Media Group.
Individual newspaper titles affected are as follows:
Courier Media Group: Kent and Sussex Courier, Sevenoaks Chronicle
Essex Chronicle Media Group: Essex Chronicle, Brentwood Gazette
Kent Regional News and Media: Canterbury Times, Dover Express, Folkestone Herald, Isle of Thanet Gazette, Thanet Times
East Surrey and Sussex News and Media: Croydon Advertiser, Surrey Mirror, Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser, Crawley News, East Grinstead Courier and Observer.
In addition to the above, seven jobs in production, photographic and regional management across the region are also likely to be affected.
The company says the proposals also include further development of digital platforms and encouraging “more flexible and modern” working practices across the businesses.
A formal consultation with affected staff began today.
South East regional managing director Richard Karn said: “We need to continue to respond to challenging trading conditions to ensure we have viable, modern businesses moving forward.
“We will be re-investing and modernising our approach as part of this proposal and like any change it will create new opportunities for some colleagues to develop their careers within our businesses.”
The proposals are subject to 30 days statutory consultation and if approved are expected to be implemented between October 2012 and January 2013.
Alan, who was editor-in-chief of all Northcliffe’s titles in the South East, recently announced he was leaving Northcliffe to run a journalism school in Uganda.