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More jobs to go at Cumbria newspaper group

Managers at Cumbria-based publishers CN Group have upped the number of proposed job cuts in a planned restructure from 30 to 40, it emerged yesterday.

As reported on HoldtheFrontPage last month, the company had already announced that it was to shed 30 jobs and freeze pay increases.

But a fresh company announcement on Wednesday stated that the exercise was now expected to lead to the loss of 40 posts.

It is expected that 27 of these will go at CN’s Carlisle HQ and a further 13 at its subsidiary Furness Newspapers Limited, based in Barrow.

Speaking to HoldtheFrontPage, chief executive Robin Burgess said the company had had to make an “ongoing assessement” of the economic difficulties facing the industry.

“The first announcement was not the formal announcement, it was still being reviewed. On the basis of the situation continuing to be dire, we had to propose further cuts,” he said.

According to an internal memo seen by HTFP, the 13 posts under threat at Barrow include four editorial roles, eight studio ad/production staff, and the advertising sales manager.

The four editorial posts affected are those of deputy editor content, feature writer/sub, sport writer/sub and editorial assistant.

The CN Group, which publishes the North West Evening Mail and the News & Star – informed staff formally on Wednesday of the redundancy programme.

The move comes as the company attempts to address a fall in revenues during 2008 and meet the challenge of a continued recession in 2009.

Mr Burgess said: “The plan will ensure stability and our survival next year, but they do depend on present levels of activity continuing. If this does not prove to be the case, we will have to review the detail of our plan.

“The consultation with staff on redundancies is going to make the next few weeks very difficult and I appreciate it is not going to be easy for those in the ‘consultation’ pool, but I have no doubt that these moves are essential and will be an important part of ensuring the long term stability of the business.”


T.M. Outcast (12/12/2008 08:59:53)
New definition of optimism.
A newspaper journalist ironing 5 shirts on a Sunday night!!!

F. Johnston (12/12/2008 09:50:59)
A new definition of well-off . . . a newspaper journalist who can afford 5 shirts.

T.M. Outcast (12/12/2008 13:33:28)
I was referring to T-Shirts!

4yorkshiremen (12/12/2008 13:35:06)
An iron? We used te dream of an iron

T.M. Outcast (12/12/2008 14:50:57)
I thought you lot up t’north were still dreaming about having electricity!

Mr_Osato (12/12/2008 16:47:10)
Dreaming of being able to afford t’electricity

Lavinia (13/12/2008 11:47:50)
It’s not just at Blackburn in Lancashire where they are making colleagues slug it out for jobs but also here is the South at Basingstoke, Winchester, Andover, Southampton and Bournemouth.

Golam Murtaza (13/12/2008 13:30:18)
And yet colleges and universities are still churning out thousands of journalism graduates each year. Any ideas where all these people are going to be employed? Anyone??

Observer (13/12/2008 13:49:45)
They’ll be employed on t’internet. It’s the future for news publishing – thought everone knew that!!

Mary (13/12/2008 16:39:12)
Internet journalism does have a place in the world – the writing space is immense – and it’s the way things are going, but it’s too early to kill off papers as a result – it’s what we Brits do, cuppa tea and a paper! As for new journalists coming out of colleges – over the years I have taken dozens under my wing as trainees and on through the NCE, sadly most of them have left the profession for other careers or the PR world. There is little room left in papers nationally thesedays to forge a life-long career in print journalism – very sad.

watcher (14/12/2008 10:53:07)
Mary: I agree, “There is little room left in papers nationally thesedays to forge a life-long career in print journalism – very sad.” – not unless you put up and shut up like so many of Newsquest’s top men, scrap a few of them and you might get to keep a few journalists to do the job that should be at the heart of every single newspaper. There is too much dead wood floating around creaming it in.

Hacked Off (15/12/2008 09:42:18)
I used to work for CN Group, and two of the people losing their jobs in West Cumbria are just about the longest serving staff members in the company. The news editor and two subs are going at Whitehaven — the news editor has been with the company for over 30 years and the sub for at least 25. When I worked there Mr Burgess used to make a lot of the fact they they were proud to be a family run, independent newsgroup — some family company that gets shot of its most loyal and dedicated workers. The Whitehaven News staff were told on Wednesday morning, about three hours before the paper went to press — the fact that paper hit the streets later that day looking as good as ever is testament to the professional way those staff work.
In Cumbria, especially in West Cumbria, the paper has a real link to the community it serves and family values were always key — your dad would be ashamed of you Robin.

KF Sea (15/12/2008 15:47:22)

Gerry Spaniel (15/12/2008 15:49:06)
“Dead wood floating around creaming it in”…Hmmm and you chaps call yourself journalists do you? hmmmmm