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Archant to merge South West departments

Five jobs are under threat as a result of plans to merge the production and planning departments of eight Archant weekly papers.

The titles in its South West division are currently based in Exeter and Weston-super-Mare but the company is proposing to merge the two departments into one at Weston.

If given the green light, it could result in up to five job losses.

A small part of the Exeter office is leased, which is about to expire, while the rest is owned, meaning reporters will not move out of Exeter.

The division’s newspapers are the paid-for Exmouth Journal, Sidmouth Herald and Weston & Somerset Mercury and the free Exmouth Herald, North Devon Gazette, Midweek Herald, North Somerset Times and Weston-super-Mare Admag.

In December reporters were left “gutted” after Archant shut the Exmouth and Sidmouth offices and moved reporters to the company’s base near Exeter Airport.

A statement from Archant South West said: “The proposal follows an opportunity to increase efficiencies resulting from the investment in a new production workflow system and the expiry of the lease on part of the Exeter premises.”

Managing Director Bernard Driscoll said he hoped most of the current staff would relocate to Weston but the proposal could put four or five jobs at risk.

A consultation with affected staff has begun today.


disgruntled reporter (12/03/2009 12:28:40)
Those from Exeter who end up with jobs in Weston Super Mare are not being offered any sort of relocation package so if they want to keep their jobs they will actually be out of pocket if they continue to work for the company – meanwhile Archant revealed it was £22million in profit this week.
Archant SW MD Bernard Driscoll said: “The proposal follows an opportunity to increase efficiencies.” – this just management speak which means those left behind will be expected to work twice as hard for the same money while the company continues to rake it in.