A group of 25 freelance community publishers who helped run a network of hyperlocal sites for Local World have left their roles after the publisher decided it now had enough users to sustain itself.
The company runs a series of Local People portals within its existing local newspaper footprint, which previously belonged to regional publisher Northcliffe.
But Local World has now ended the freelance contracts it had with 25 community publishers, following a previous restructure last year which saw around 75 freelance publishers depart.
The previous restructure saw around 100 freelance publishers, who each ran an individual portal, replaced with the current group of 25 freelance community publishers who each ran a group of sites.
Local World confirmed that 25 people were affected, who were contracted not permanent staff.
A spokeswoman said: “Local World is grateful for their work in establishing the service but it has now reached a stage where it has sufficient users to sustain itself, which was always the plan.”
One of those leaving is Carol Deacon, a former newspaper editor who covered the Local People portals in Nailsea, Clevedon, Portishead and Weston-super-Mare.
Carol’s departure brought to an end a 28-year journalism career in the North Somerset area in which she previously edited the Clevedon Mercury, Weston & Worle News, Burnham & Highbridge Times and the Bridgwater Times.
In a farewell piece on the website she wrote: “My freelance contract with Local People ends today so it is goodbye from me.
“I am assured the websites are ‘continuing’, however from now on I am sorry to say you are on your own posting items on Nailsea, Clevedon, Portishead and Weston-super-Mare websites.
“I am told it is a cost-saving move and led to believe copy from reporters on The Post and free contributions will fill the space left by my departure.
“I am not going to shout from rooftops about my demise as I enjoyed my time working for the company which is now called Local World and was flattered to be invited to so many fantastic press events.”
South Devon publisher Paul Strange also wrote a story about his departure, thanking all those who had contributed to the site.
Wrote Paul: “I’m moving on to pastures new, so it’s a chance to thank everyone who has contributed to the site since it was first launched and, in particular, since I took over managing Tavistock People in August 2012.
“It’s been a pleasure serving the local community, and I hope that together we’ve managed to reflect some of the spirit, warmth and friendship that Tavistock exudes.”