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Trinity Mirror to axe 78 jobs across North-West

A total of 59 journalists’ jobs and a further 19 non-editorial roles are set to go in Liverpool, North Wales and the North-West as a result of a “major restructure” by Trinity Mirror.

The announcement, which was made to staff at 2pm this afternoon, affects a series of daily and weekly titles across the Merseyside and North-West regions including the Liverpool Echo and Daily Post, North Wales Daily Post, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, Chester Chronicle and Southport Visitor.

Traditional demarcation lines between reporters and photographers are to be scrapped and the newsrooms of the two Liverpool dailies merged in what the company is calling a “revolutionary” plan to safeguard the future of the titles in the face of the economic downturn.

The plans partially mirror what has already been implemented by Trinity at its Midlands titles and proposals announced earlier this month for its North-East portfolio.

The largest number of editorial job losses will occur at the company’s main regional centre at Old Hall Street, Liverpool, where 43 out of 175 existing posts will go.

There will also be eight job losses at the Llandudo Junction centre which publishes the North Wales Daily Post, four at the Examiner’s head office in Huddersfield, and a further four at the Chester centre, which publishes the Chester Chronicle and a number of associated weeklies.

In addition, 16 van drivers’ posts and three transport supervisor roles are being lost in Huddersfield as a result of a plan to switch the Daily Examiner to overnight printing.

A separate report on the Huddersfield proposals can be read here. HoldtheFrontPage also has a further report on a decision to scrap the Saturday edition of the Liverpool Daily Post.

In a statement issued at 2.45pm today, Trinity Mirror said the “revolutionary” editorial plan was designed to secure a “strong long-term future” for its key newspaper and online brands.

“These actions have been taken in response to the current challenging trading conditions but also reflect Trinity Mirror’s ongoing development as a multi-platform media organisation,” it said.

“The new editorial plan will mean that all journalists’ jobs will alter to some extent, with traditional reporter and photographer roles being replaced by multimedia journalists, who will take photographs, shoot video and create unique written web content, as well as writing for the newspapers.

“They will be directly managed by a highly skilled team of multimedia desk staff and will receive extensive training to equip them to perform the new roles.”

Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales regional managing director, Sara Wilde, said: “We are determined to carry on producing the vibrant, entertaining and informative newspaper and online brands which are at the heart of the communities they serve in the North West and North Wales.

“To do that in the digital age, and in such difficult trading conditions, has entailed taking some very radical steps, which will revolutionise the way in which we produce our newspapers and websites.

“However, we believe the changes we are introducing mean we can do that while maintaining the high quality products our readers have come to expect.”

The company said it was committed to achieving as many of the redundancies as possible on a voluntary basis and has entered into a period of consultation with all affected staff today.

National Union of Journalists’ members at the Liverpool titles have already vowed to fight any proposals for compulsory redundancies or pay cuts.

Liverpool Daily Post and Echo FoC Mike Chapple said: “We are gravely concerned about the implications of so many job losses. The number announced was far greater than we anticipated.

“Current staffing levels on a day to day basis were already a cause for concern in terms of producing the high quality of journalism that is so important to us and our readers.

“We acknowledge the company’s commitment to no compulsory redundancies but rest assured the chapel will be working hard to ensure the best deal for those who stay and those who go.”


TM (27/11/2008 15:10:37)
Yes, this “revolutionary” plan has already been implemented at Trinity Mirror in the Midlands. Maybe the Liverpool staff would like to see how fantastically well the system is operating in Birmingham. Maybe there will be a stampede for redundancy in Liverpool just as there was in Birmingham.

Mr_Osato (27/11/2008 15:15:02)
Exactly, it’s Birmingham mark II – the rest of Trinity Mirror, be very afraid. I can’t see where the 59 jobs are coming from, to be honest, without completely destroying the products

Leroy (27/11/2008 15:19:24)
I suspect that Newcastle will be next!

GPP (27/11/2008 15:24:57)
Newcastle and Teesside are already undergoing their own restructure …

Margot Kidder (27/11/2008 15:27:11)
Why does TM pretend the plans have been drawn up by senior editors when they’ve clearly been imposed from above? Are we supposed to believe senior editors in Birmingham and Liverpool just happened to come up with the exact same proposals?

Lister (27/11/2008 15:35:08)
This is just the start. When are people going to realise that the only way to fight this is mass coordinated industrial action across the industry. Hit them where it hurts. In the pocket. The time for sitting back and keeping your head down is over. You either fight back or wait for your P45 – because beleive me – it is coming.

M Rule (27/11/2008 15:52:23)
How any company can cut a quarter of its workforce and produce the same, or improved quality of product, defies comprehension.
There is no technology dividend here as there was with electronic page make-up.
This will simply mean those left standing having to work even harder.
Perhaps Sly Bailey is thinking of cashing in by writing one of those airport bookshop management manuals. May I suggest a title? Management by Broom up Arse.

Demon Barber (27/11/2008 15:55:42)
Ha! So the accountants have got their wishes at last.
Perhaps the “highly-skilled multi-media staff” could just fill the gaping vastness of empty columns with pages from the company accounts ledger.

Hilary Jones (27/11/2008 16:30:44)
And i say it again: upthe ‘brand’, up the bottom line, up the ‘centralised hub’ (with emphasis on the centralised) and to hell with any notion of a product with any meaning for the local communities.

Mr_Osato (27/11/2008 16:35:40)
Quite right Lister, time for the NUJ to get the tanks on the lawn. People in Liverpool are noted for sticking up for their own – they want news but don’t need Trinity Mirror to provide it. A strike here can and must work!

Pete Sake (27/11/2008 16:58:30)
That’s right, us journalists are soooooooooooo important that economics doesn’t apply to us. We know that “our public” loves the stories we write so much because they buy 10% fewer of our papers year after year after year, and what joy! – we don’t need to worry about that horrid business of having adverts appearing on the same pages as our Pulitzer Prize winning short about the toilets at a Service Station being “best for bums” – because there aren’t any! All we need to do now is go on strike and the Class War will be won. The company will immediately see the error of its ways and magic up some money from wherever the fairies leave it every week to keep us in our jobs. Our readers in the real world are the ones who should have to worry about things changing, not us…

Mr_Osato (27/11/2008 17:13:02)
They could maybe magic up the money from the astronomical profits they continue to make! And if our stories aren’t important, Pete Sake, you’ll be first in line to take voluntary redundancy?

Unhappy scouser (27/11/2008 17:20:12)
In most cases the surviving Liverpool jour
nalists will be working longer hours for less pay, and could be told to work fewer hours one day and more the next. I’m getting out.

Reality (27/11/2008 17:31:57)
Tanks on the lawn? Strikes? Am I Doctor Who landing in 1975?? This is 2008, Luddites, the world is spiralling down economically and, guess what, all parts of every business have to respond. (Re. Bham – and Wales before it?? – ask yourself this… are those papers still coming out???????)
Put your barrels of oil away, boys, and fight for the right pay, conditions and whatever. But job numbers are gonna go.

harry ramsden (27/11/2008 18:28:56)
The new contacts stipulate a 75 hour fortnight, so five hours a fortnight sneakily snuck on! Basically TM giving fewer of us new contacts that say we have no say at all over what they do to us. Message: you should feel damned lucky we’ve given you a job at all.

Old Hack (27/11/2008 18:53:53)
We’re lucky. We only have 10 per cent redundancies across the company..but out company bean-counter virtually confirmed that there was Newspaper Society encouragement to shed as many jobs as possible.
“We have our own input, of course…” he said..

Old Hack (27/11/2008 18:55:26)
Sorry for literal above. ‘Out’ is ‘our,’ of course. No subs again..!

Redundo Volunteer (28/11/2008 10:16:32)
The death knell is tolling for local weekly newspapers. I’m with Unhappy Scouser. Time shuffle into the departure lounge.

Lister (28/11/2008 10:59:49)
I didn’t think the situation facing the industry was overly complicated, but it appears to have sailed over the heads of Pete Sake and Reality. No one wants to stand in the way of progress, no one argues that the latest technology is not necessary, no one would dispute the fact that industries have to develop – and that jobs should not be lost in any of these instances. What we are witnessing here, though, is not progress, is not technology-driven and is not development in the industrial sense. What we are witnessing is the dumbing down, cutting down, sllimming down and shutting down of a vibrant industry – not to improve quality and content, but simply to squeeze every single penny possible out of staff and products to maximise profits. In short, we are digging into our own pockets through pay freezes and redundancies to subsidise shareholders. That is neither good nor sustainable business practice. I think jobs are worth fighting for, and I think a healthy newspaper industry is worth fighting for. If Pete Sake and Reality don’t, then fair enough. But don’t moan when your jobs go.