A leading regional daily is set to axe its picture desk along with several sports writing roles as part of the introduction of a new-look ‘digital-first’ newsroom.
As reported on HTFP last month, Trinity Mirror is currently rolling out its ‘Newsroom 3.1′ plan at its titles in the West Midlands.
Although the company says the changes have led to a net increase in the number of journalists employed at the titles, seven roles are currently under threat.
HTFP understands that they include the roles of picture editor, deputy picture editor, head of sport, cricket correspondent and rugby correspondent.
Newsroom 3.1, which envisages content being published online first before being reverse-published into print titles, has previously been rolled out in Trinity’s Newcastle, Cardiff and Manchester centres.
The decision to dispose with the picture desk in Birmingham follows similar moves at other major Trinity Mirror titles, a change unrelated to the introduction of Newsroom 3.1.
Only Cardiff among the main regional centres has retained a separate picture desk operation with photographers at other centres now reporting directly to the newsdesk.
Sports journalists at risk of redundancy in Birmingham include head of sport Ken Montgomery, who is thought to have been with the papers for 40 years, and cricket correspondent Brian Halford, who has covered Warwickshire country cricket for the past 17 years.
Also under threat is rugby correspondent Brian Dick who currently covers Moseley RFC.
Trinity Mirror has previously pointed out that seven new roles have been created in the Midlands in anticipation of the Newsroom 3.1 roll-out while a further five are being created as a result of the changes.
David Brookes, Midlands’ editor-in-chief, said last month: “We have seen fantastic growth in our online audiences since the start of the year and Newsroom 3.1 will help us continue that success for years to come.”
However the company has declined to comment on the impact of the proposed changes on individual roles.
A spokesperson said that a 30-day consultation process with seven staff was continuing.