Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror is set to axe 92 jobs at the same time as creating 52 new roles as part of a move toward more content sharing across its regional and national titles.
A new publishing model is to be unveiled as part of what the company is calling an “integrated approach to creating and sharing first-class content across the group. ”
It will mean the establishment of a new shared content unit based in Liverpool, producing feature pages that can be used across similar regional titles, covering subjects such as health, travel, fashion, food, entertainment and reviews.
And there will also be closer working between the national and regional titles, with Daily Mirror reporters embedded in regional newsrooms and content being shared across all of Trinity Mirror’s newspapers and digital platforms.
Other changes will see a “much enhanced focus” in the regional titles on the curation of community content, which the company said had already proved popular with readers.
And workflow changes will see the reintroduction of early shifts on some regional titles, with the initial focus being on breaking news online before the focus shifts to the overnight print product later in the day.
The company said in a statement today: “These changes will result in a net reduction of approximately 40 editorial roles and consultation with affected staff has already begun.
“The company hopes to achieve any redundancies by voluntary means as well as redeploying staff, where possible, to newly-created roles under the new publishing operation.”
All of the 92 jobs to go will be on the group’s regional newspapers, while around half of the 52 new jobs to be created will be on the national titles.
New roles to be created on the regional titles include around 12 community content curators, eight regional digital roles and around four new journalist roles.
Regional editorial director Neil Benson said: “Our newsrooms have made great progress in embracing the digital world in recent years but, essentially, our processes have remained print-led.
“This new approach is a bold, imaginative step that will enable us to become a fully-fledged, digitally-focused news operation, and brings together for the first time the best of our regional and national journalism.
No regional editor roles are at risk in the shake-up, but the job losses are expected to affect some executive editor and newsdesk roles as well as reporting, production and features staff.
Added Neil: “It is never easy to make these decisions when it affects our colleagues in this way but we must re-engineer the way we work if our journalism is to thrive in the future.”
The planned job cuts, which will take place across Trinity main regional centres in Cardiff, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle, have already sparked protests from politicians and union leaders.
Barry Fitzpatrick, deputy general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said: “This will hugely undermine journalism on these titles. It will have a serious impact on newsrooms across the country and the working conditions of staff. It is a short-sighted strategy which will rob communities of good locally-based journalism.
“The NUJ is now studying the proposals and we will be seeking talks at a national level, as this is clearly a national strategy.”