The blow comes at the end of a project run across the whole of Trinity Mirror – From Biggest to Best – and staff have been handed a 42-page document explaining the thinking behind the proposed changes.
The company will be running a full consultation process although some roles in specific areas have already been targeted for redundancy.
The shake-up means that in addition to 20 posts being lost, eight new ones would be created. It is likely that five posts currently vacant will remain unfilled.
National Union of Journalists father of chapel Chris Morley will be involved in the consultation talks with management.
He said: “The proposed job losses are a body blow to morale across the newsroom, which, it is fair to say, is already at a low ebb.
“We have just lost the editor of the Birmingham Post, who left last Thursday, which was a bolt from the blue.”
He said journalists had also been forced to strike against what they saw as an attack on their pension arrangements.
And he added: “The NUJ chapel will be rigorously testing company assertions that it can lose so many good journalists and still produce titles of quality.”
A company spokesman said: “Some changes are to take place as a result of the conclusions formed out of the recent Midlands Editorial Process Improvement Project.
“This has been a far reaching review, overseen by the editors. The objective of the review was to discover what we had to do to improve the efficiency of the department and free up the talent in the editorial team to concentrate on creating great editorial products.
“The company naturally regrets that some jobs are to be lost. It is the combined view of all editors that when all the different aspects of the Editorial Improvement project are brought together, it will provide a cornerstone for greater success in the years to come, across the Midlands editorial function.”
Read the full company statement here.
The Evening Mail relaunched in February 2002 in a £1m makeover. The free weekly Birmingham Metro News was relaunched as the Birmingham News in January 2002.
From Biggest to Best started in 2001 to find and implement best practice guidelines in all departments of Trinity’s 244 regional titles, including editorial. It is being followed by a companion project – Beyond Best.
Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or