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More job losses 'inevitable' at Trinity Mirror Midlands

Further job losses at Trinity Mirror’s papers in the Midlands are “inevitable”, the company said today.

In a statement, the newspaper publisher said it had entered a period of consultation with staff, advertisers and trade union representatives “to identify changes to ensure the future stability and viability of its businesses”.

The division is running at a forecast loss of £6m for 2010 but this could have reached £10m were it not for action taken by the company over the past year, it said.

Among the changes being considered is the publishing structure of the Birmingham Post, currently a Monday to Friday morning title, and the Birmingham Mail which publishes same day but could switch to overnight printing.

Last August Trinity Mirror Midlands axed over 60 editorial posts at its daily and weekly titles as part of a wide-ranging shake-up.

And this was followed last month by the announcement of the closure of nine weekly newspapers and the loss of a further 17 editorial posts.

The statement said: “It is clear that to safeguard the future of these businesses further action is required.

“This will involve careful consideration of all the options open to the Midlands businesses and a concentration on how to reduce the cost base while protecting titles and revenues in the most appropriate way going forward.

“The consultation will review options for all areas of the businesses and include two specific areas for discussion.

“These consultations are at an early stage, no decisions have been made and no business cases for change have been developed.

“However, it is clear whichever options are formulated into a plan through the consultation process further job losses are inevitable.”

Other titles in the division include the Coventry Telegraph, Sunday Mercury and weeklies across Warwickshire, Staffordshire and the Black Country.

Georgina Harvey, MD of Trinity Mirror Regionals, said: “The economic situation facing these businesses is extraordinary in both its severity and impact.

“I feel strongly that everyone involved in these businesses – staff and advertisers – are fully aware of these challenges and that we can have a genuine and open dialogue about all potential options that can help to return these businesses into profit.

“With this goal in mind we are actively seeking to achieve a timetable of consultation meetings with staff and union representatives.

“We have difficult choices to make but together we will ensure the future viability and survival of our great Midlands businesses.”


Beth (25/08/2009 11:56:41)
Will there be any staff left at the newspapers after this? Thoughts are with all those under threat, especially after the cuts last year. I would genuinely like to know how it is planned the papers will function after this.

VoiceoftheNorth (25/08/2009 12:11:44)
Does anyone believe Ms Harvey knows what she’s doing/what she’s talking about?? Trinity Mirror has dragged the Midlands centres down and now it’s going to run them into the ground.
The NUJ had evidence of further planned cuts in June, but Ms Harvey et al denied it and have continued to lie to staff ever since. They should be ashamed.

frank (25/08/2009 12:16:12)
Maybe TM should look at the organ grinders before they sack more monkeys. Someone is supposed to be in charge of these alleged losses. Why don’t they take responsibility

Aki (25/08/2009 12:30:14)
My hope is that, this time, the NUJ takes up the offer of consultation and gets properly involved, at a national level, rather than just shouting from the sidelines and making life difficult for the local guys

JP Grind (25/08/2009 13:25:19)
Agreed Frank – the victims of poor, poor management are the journalists (and readers).

Rich Simcox (25/08/2009 14:46:10)
Well, this is part of what the NUJ predicted weeks ago and was lambasted by TM as “scaremongering”. It’s absolutely clear that Trinity has no interest in running these titles. It should let them go to someone who does. Meanwhile, the journalists there will have the solid backing of the rest of the union for whatever action it takes.

Bob (25/08/2009 15:09:05)
Rich – Wouldn’t the NUJ be better off sitting down with management and playing an active part in the consultation and then come it with proposals which would save the £6m needed? It’s easy to make bold claims about the union sticking by its members, but if the money has to be saved, it will end up being saved somehow. Better the union gets involved and comes up with suggestions rather than just picking fights. If I was a senior figure in the union, I’d be trying to get hold of as much information as possible to come up with alternative plans.

Rich Simcox (25/08/2009 15:40:08)
Bob, if you were a senior figure in the union, you’d be on-message brother –

Mr Groundhog (25/08/2009 16:52:32)
As one of those who went by choice in the last round of cuts, this takes me back to a conversation a group of us had at the time.
It had the feeling of a halfway house and we came to the conclusion that Trinity would be back for more cuts within months, once the Fort was bedded in.
It’s going to be tough for a lot of people this time round as previously there was a bit of a scramble for voluntary redundancy.
Like Beth, my thoughts are with those who stuck with the business but now face more despair.

Mr_Osato (26/08/2009 09:45:11)
“The division is running at a forecast loss of £6m for 2010 but this could have reached £10m were it not for action taken by the company over the past year, it said”
or ‘the losses may not have been anywhere near as big if the company had invested over the years rather than squeezing the papers until the pips squeak’ – we’ll never know

Bob (27/08/2009 10:54:45)
Rich – I’m not sure what you mean by “on message” and to the best of my knowledge, you’re not my brother, but now is the time for the NUJ to do more than just make provocative statements from the sidelines and claim it has handed in a list of ideas to the company. Everyone else is being urged to put their ideas forward in an open way, why doesn’t the NUJ do the same? I hope it does, as it would reflect the changing nature of the industry we’re in. There’s no point wagging the figure and tutting about previous profits, let’s see some real alternatives from the union which can benefit the industry at large.