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Cost cuts leave 47 editorial jobs redundant

Forty-seven editorial posts are to be cut at Trinity Mirror Southern as departments across the company are merged.

Six casual posts are included in that total and 14 unfilled vacancies will remain unfilled. Twelve new jobs are to be created and the company hopes that of the remaining redundancies, many will be reached voluntarily.

Staff consultation is under way and is due to continue for the next three weeks.

The cuts will affect the Yellow Advertiser as well as papers in Enfield and Barnett, although titles in Kent and Dorset look set to escape any changes.

The changes are being made because of the way the company evolved following the purchase of Southnews by the former Trinity Newspapers Southern, which meant the company inherited a number of autonomous centres where generic content was being duplicated, particularly in features and TV listings pages. A new features unit will be created in Uxbridge.

Journalists at the Basildon chapel of the National Union of Journalists have held a meeting to discuss the possibility of industrial action over the proposals, which they say will cut five subbing posts, two reporters and a photographer at their centre.

They claim the ten weekly editions of the Yellow Advertiser have less than one journalist per edition and just three photographers in total.

They plan to hold talks with management before taking any decision.

A Trinity spokesman said the reorganisation is an attempt to cut down on duplication of work while at the same time ensuring a high quality of features.

He said: “Since the creation of TMS we have been bringing together our component businesses and titles so that we can really punch our weight in this intensely competitive marketplace. These changes are a continuation of that process.

“We conducted a major analysis of our papers, which revealed just how much overlap and duplication of effort there was between titles, particularly in our ents and leisure coverage.

“The new features unit will remove this duplication and raise the quality of our features content to a consistently high standard across TMS. The centrally managed unit will also allow our editorial teams to focus more on local news gathering.

“We are consulting fully with staff and also looking at redeployment opportunities across the company.

“We are building TMS into a stronger, more competitive business, which means saving money where we can and at the same time investing in the future of our newspapers.

“The recent launch of the Maidenhead Express – which saw us take on new members of staff to extend the Express Series – is just one example of this investment.”

TMS publishes more than 80 titles and employs some 380 staff in total.

The Yellow Advertiser has ten editions in East London and Essex, going into 500,000 homes every week in Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Basildon, Thurrock, Havering, castle point and Rochford, Southend, Brentwood, Barking/Dagenham and Chelmsford.

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