A regional publisher has suspended the publication of six of its lifestyle magazines, putting 19 jobs at risk.
Archant Life will stop printing its titles for Shropshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Herefordshire & Wye Valley, Wiltshire and the North East after their June editions.
The move means 16 staff members are at risk of redundancy across the five Midlands titles, including two journalists who job-share an assistant editor role, along with three further roles in the North East. A consultation has started with the affected staff.
The publisher blamed the current economic climate for the decision to suspend print publication but said its websites would continue and it aims to extend the reach of neighbouring titles to provide a service for readers and advertisers.
Miller Hogg, Archant Lifestyle managing director, said: “In the current economic climate and looking at the performance of these titles, we have concluded the best option for us is to suspend publishing in print until the economy picks back up and the local economies in each of the publishing areas can sustain the re-launch of these titles to the quality we desire.
“We will also look to provide a service to readers and advertisers in as many of the areas affected as possible with our other Life magazine titles, such as Cotswold Life.
“This decision has not been taken lightly and we will be consulting with the teams affected to explore ways of creating new roles where viable and minimising job losses.”
Two sales roles and one designer role are at risk from the North East Life magazine ceasing publication.
Joanne Goodwin was appointed as editor of four of the titles last October – Herefordshire and Wye Valley Life, Warwickshire Life, Worcestershire Life and Shropshire Life.
Archant’s title in Herefordshire faced competition from the launch of Absolute Herefordshire last year by a group of former regional press journalists and the Newsquest-owned Hereford Times also produces the Hereford Society magazine.
Archant Life publishes 20 county lifestyle magazines across the UK, along with associated publications and websites.