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New subbing hub on cards for Johnston Press titles

Newspaper publisher Johnston Press is in consultation with staff over plans to create its latest centralised subbing operation.

This new hub would be based at the home of the Derbyshire Times, in Chesterfield, and incorporate all sub-editors from its sister titles across the surrounding region.

These include the Mansfield Chad series, Hucknall Despatch, Buxton Advertiser, Ilkeston Advertiser, Belper News, Ripley and
Heanor News
and Matlock Mercury.

However the company has told staff that, unlike previous subbing hub proposasls, this one will involve no redundancies.

In recent months, JP has created several centralised subbing hubs in Sunderland, the south Midlands, Lancashire and Northern Ireland.

And last month it emerged a planned hub for Worksop was being moved to Doncaster.

Dawn Sweeney, managing director of JP subsidiaries Wilfred Edmunds Limited and North Notts Newspapers which publish the affected titles, has not so far responded to a request for comment about the plan.

But sources have told HTFP that JP has assured staff there will be no redundancies should the plans go ahead and that, at this stage, the company is simply keen to know workers’ thoughts.

Said one staff member: “We have been given no timescale. Editors are just asking their staff what they think.”

Earlier this year a team of classified ads staff were moved from the Mansfield Chad’s office to Chesterfield.


Past experience (09/11/2009 12:15:06)
I would be very sceptical about a move to Chesterfield as it has been strongly rumoured for many years that the DT office is in the pipeline for sale. Since printing and planning moved to Sheffield a few years ago the DT building is desolate, so one has to question why they would choose Chesterfield when the Sheffield hub is only an extra 20 minutes up the motorway?Sheffield is modern and fully equipped to handle this sort of operation. DT needs extra investment to make it work thus undermining this cost cutting exercise.
Also, what happens to the Eastwood paper not mentioned in this article?

Mr Nobody (09/11/2009 12:55:15)
In an interview in the Times on Friday, John Fry said he intends to completely do away with all subs in JP.

Johnston Press Reporter (09/11/2009 13:23:20)
The sad thing is that the cost-cutters and jumped-up ad reps simply do not know what subs do. They geniuinely believe they are glorified proof readers. Not sure who will get it worse – reporters with extra duties for no extra pay or the subs being freed out the back door.

Sammy (09/11/2009 15:20:12)
@Johnston Press Reporter – I suppose you know everything there is to know about selling advertising in a recession – how patronising can you get?

Johnston Press Reporter (09/11/2009 16:14:16)
You’re correct Sammy, apologies if I came across as patronising. I have limited knowledge of advertising and it stands to reason I shouldn’t be in a position to make decisions about the running of advertising. Just the same as those with no knowledge of what a sub, nib or anchor story is should be charged with ruining the long-term of journalism.

Miss Nobody (09/11/2009 16:40:16)
Mr Nobody – is this article on the Times website? Did Fry actually say this outright?

Southern Boy (09/11/2009 16:56:06)
Yes Mr Nobody, I haven’t been able to find the article online, but would like to read what he said.

Master Osato (10/11/2009 11:06:35)
Here is the link to last Friday’s Times piece

JP Worker (10/11/2009 11:37:15)
Mr Fry says: “If you want 500 words, how about the reporter writing 500 words, rather than writing 1,000, and giving it to a second person to cut it?”
Does anyone else know anywhere where this happens in newsroom. Bizarre.

Editor (10/11/2009 12:54:12)
That quote from John Fry sums up the problem nicely – he and other management types have no clue what happens in editorial and how subs and reporters operate.
They’ll wonder what’s happened when it all comes crashing down around them due to their stupid, uninformed and naive decisions, but in the meantime their staff will suffer.
I find it worrying that the CEO is so clueless – what hope have we got?

Liz (11/11/2009 16:57:29)
silence isn’t golden . . . still waiting for the Sweeney to make her views known are we?