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Print jobs at risk as Newsquest cutbacks continue

Newsquest North West is considering closing its £17m printing plant in Bolton which opened in 2001.

If the move goes ahead, printing of its two dailies The Bolton News and Lancashire Telegraph will switch to outside Newsquest with the North Wales Newspapers’ plant in Flintshire one option being considered.

The decision comes amid what the company is calling “extremely tough trading conditions and the expectation that revenues will continue to fall through 2009″.

At the same time, newsprint prices are expected to increase markedly, according to a memo issued to staff by regional MD Chris Hughes.

He added: “Conditions during 2008 have deteriorated dramatically as the year has progressed.

“You will know from your work here that paginations are down significantly.

“It is expected that 2009 will continue to be a very challenging period for the company and it is therefore essential that all possible efficiency savings be considered.”

The memo went on to say that all weekly titles could be printed at other plants within Newsquest.

A consultation period, due to end 5 January, is now on-going with affected staff during which alternative employment within the company will be discussed. It is not yet known how many staff are affected by the proposals.

The move is the latest in a series of cutbacks at Newsquest centres across the UK in what appears to be a concerted cost-cutting exercise.

Over the past three weeks, the company has unveiled plans to axe editorial posts at the Northern Echo, Bradford Telegraph and Argus, Hereford Times and its three Glasgow titles, The Herald, Evening Times and Sunday Herald.

In addition three senior managers’ posts were axed in the company’s Merseyside, Cheshire and Westmorland divisions, while two editors and an MD at its York centre were invited to compete against eachother for a single job.

Newsquest’s parent company, US-based Gannett, announced in October that it planned to reduce its workforce by 10pc worldwide by early December.


Baffled (10/12/2008 04:59:23)
Funny how a newspaper company can take its knife to so many journalists yet feather-bed its sales departments.
Do they imagine they can blithely carry on “selling space” to advertisers when there is no reason for readers to even bother having a cursory glance at their rags?
Without news, there is no point to a newspaper.
I suppose they’re hoping to fill the columns with the gilded prose of “citizen” journalists.
You don’t hear much mention of “citizen” tele-ads or “citizen” accountants, do you?

INSIDE MAN (10/12/2008 08:17:39)
Baffled needs to get his facts straight before commenting.
Scores of sales jobs are going across Newsquest, along with admin, pre-press and finance staff.
What’s been reported on htfp is only the tip of the iceberg. No mention has been made anywhere of the 20 or so jobs in Dorset, or the butchery going on right now in Worcester and Hereford.
The only place that seems to have escaped is Newsquest’s head office in Weybridge. Funny that?

fed up with Newsquest (10/12/2008 09:43:12)
And now they cut the free titles in Lancaster, Blackpool and Preston…sorry, enter into another consultation period.

ousidegirl (12/12/2008 16:17:09)
to inside mans comment, actually there has been jobs lost at newsquest head office, get facts straight before comment

Hilary Jones (12/12/2008 19:00:03)
Judging by outside girl’s grammar, only the cleaners and the office juniors are left!