AddThis SmartLayers

Valleys weeklies shake-up to go ahead

Trinity Mirror is pushing ahead with its plans to turn seven editors into four at its ‘Celtic Weeklies’ series.

A consultation with staff has now ended at seven South Wales newspapers which each had their own editor.

They will now come under the remit of four editors with a fifth taking up the role of West Wales multimedia editor.

Three of Media Wales’ six branch offices have been closed in Aberdare, Ebbw Vale and Neath while offices in Merthyr, Bridgend and Pontypridd will remain open.

There will now be one editor each for:

Merthyr Express, Rhymney Valley and Gwent Gazette
Rhondda Leader, Pontypridd Observer
Cynon Valley Leader
Glamorgan Gazette, Neath and Port Talbot Guardian

Two editors, along with two senior reporters and an inputter, have taken voluntary redundancy while two production journalists and a manager have also left the main Cardiff newsroom.

Martin Shipton, joint father of the NUJ chapel, said: “We managed to achieve a situation where there were no compulsory redundancies which we’re pleased about.

“Trinity Mirror imposed budget cuts and told centres it was up to them locally to decide how they imposed those cuts.

“Our bottom line was there should be no compulsory redundancies.”

A chapel meeting is due to be held today in Cardiff with Barry Fitzpatrick, national organiser with the National Union of Journalists.

Martin said the group would be discussing the policy of non-replacement of departed staff.

Trinity Mirror declined to comment on this story.

A statement issued at the start of the consultation last month said: “Each of the six branch offices represents a significant cost to the business, however the use of new technology means that a physical presence at each of these locations is no longer essential.”

  • In a separate development, the National Assembly for Wales is extending the remit of its Culture and Communities Broadcasting Sub-Committee to include Welsh newspapers.

    Martin said the Assembly had announced plans to hold an inquiry into the future of Welsh newspapers early next year in the light of recent redundancy announcements. He added: “We’re taking the view that we have bigger battles to fight. We’re extremely concerned about the whole future.”