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Seven jobs at risk in plan to disband features and design teams

Seven journalists are set to lose their jobs as part of a restructure at a regional daily which will see the design and features teams disbanded.

The four-strong design team at the Cambridge News together with three staff in the paper’s features department are facing redundancy under the plans, which will also see one new role created.

HTFP understands staff were told about the restructure two weeks ago, and a month-long consultation period is currently under way.

Owner Trinity Mirror has confirmed that the restructure is taking place, but has declined to comment further on the proposals.

Cambridge front

The changes will also see the Cambridge Magazine and Cambridge Business Magazine, which are both currently published monthly by the News as separate glossy magazines, merged into a single print product.

As a result, a lead sub-editor role is being created to take on responsibility for the new magazine.

The last major restructure at the News in June 2016 also saw seven roles put at risk although some new ones were also created.

Trinity Mirror bought the paper as part of its £220m purchase of Local World in October 2015.

The deal included a clause which would have seen the News and a group of sister weeklies sold on to Iliffe Media, which owned them before the creation of LW in 2012, but TM decided to keep the papers and instead pay Iliffe a £2m ‘break fee.’

Iliffe has since launched the weekly Cambridge Independent under the editorship of the News’ former editor, Paul Brackley.

8 comments

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  • July 14, 2017 at 7:58 am
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    HTFP
    are the under threat roles in the features dept editorial or commercial?

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  • July 14, 2017 at 1:23 pm
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    Can I urge HTFP to try and steer clear of the management-speak about ‘restructuring’ when it comes to job losses.
    ‘Restructuring’ suggests a long-term strategy when we all know it is a short-term money-saving exercise until the next ‘restructuring’ six months down the line.

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  • July 14, 2017 at 1:44 pm
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    @Regional D’you think destructuring might be a better term in today’s digitally-driven world?

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  • July 14, 2017 at 3:18 pm
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    Another sad day in the history of a once truly superb paper.
    The owners, whether it be Iliffe or Trinity or Local World, have been doing nothing but managing decline since 2006 when, in two years, we saw the first three rounds of editorial redundancies – one coming a day after the paper had one regional newspaper of the year and swept the board for its scoops, headlines, features, pictures and design. It is now a sad and long since sanitised version of its once proud self. Like any business, they are in it for profit and keeping shareholders happy but as with other newspaper groups, there is a blind inability to see that if you cut staff and weaken the product you will lose sales. The more you lose sales, the more advertising revenue you lose, the more staff you need to cut. It’s a never ending downward spiral and there is a total lack of desire or inspiration to try to break it. The Cambridge News had, and probably retains, some of the most talented regional journalists in the country. But it has also offloaded many, many more who now sit on the side lines wondering where it all went wrong. It’s a tragic waste of very good journalists.I fear that unless the paper is radical, and turns itself into a bumper weekly within weeks, it will cease to appear on the shelves of Cambridgeshire at all – and even then its days are numbered.

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  • July 14, 2017 at 8:34 pm
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    What the article does not mention is the old Cambridge Magazine and Camb business are being turned into newsprint product. The idiots at the top of TM think they will keep all the high end advertisers in a cheap newsprint product, not going to happen. The design team they are axing design those magazines.

    Cambridge News had an amazing team, over the years the talented staff have been axed and the products have got weaker and weaker while the muppets at the top keep their jobs or leave and get better jobs. I know a lot of the good sales staff are working for CN’s weekly rival and other members of staff from different departments have joined rival companies and strengthen them while CN takes on water.

    Don’t worry TM, facebook likes and retweets will bring in that money!

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  • July 15, 2017 at 9:28 am
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    I was a journalist at the cen for nearly fifty years working under some great editors,notably Keith whetstone and Nick Herbert (lord hemingford) side by side with hotshots like Alan rusbridger of the guardian and Jeremy Thompson of sky news. Circulation was in the mid fifty thousands when it all went wrong and instead of a highly respected campaigning newspaper cut costs and employed a toadying editor afraid to publish anything controversial. The writing was on the wall and everything was about cutting costs and staff until the entire features department was culled and a skeleton staff of “news providers” replaced the real thing. rip.

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  • July 16, 2017 at 7:31 pm
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    @Murray Morse. A brilliant write up. Unfortunately the sheer volume of CN that goes out via a subscription model that cost too much for the low volume they now have and the numbers that go out to local businesses as opposed to on shelf sales copies makes this title unsustainable right now in my opinion.
    As you’ve said it really needs to be a once a week title, possibly alongside the massive property section they have once a week. I’m honestly surprised they’re not already doing this as I’m guessing the Independent has already proven it a success to some degree.

    At worst case you would have thought they would’ve considered 2 or 3 editions a week with as much emphasis on going to their online news sources during the rest of the week as it seems to be all they focus on.

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