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Publisher to meet MP in job cuts row

Newspaper bosses have agreed to meet a local MP to discuss job losses following a journalist’s campaign against cutbacks.

Stuart Fraser, a sub-editor and columnist with Cornwall and Devon Media, wrote to the boss of its ultimate parent company Lord Rothermere in protest at plans to axe five journalists’ jobs there.

The Northcliffe Media subsidiary publishes weekly titles West Briton, Cornish Guardian, Cornishman and North Devon Journal.

Mr Fraser’s letter to Lord Rothermere, chairman of Daily Mail and General Trust which owns Northcliffe, was copied to Cornwall’s five MPs who have all now backed his stance.

Now CDM has agreed to meet one of them, Andrew George, to discuss the situation.

Editor-in-chief Andy Cooper said: “The management of Cornwall and Devon Media has agreed to meet Mr George to discuss this matter in detail and give him a more rounded picture of the unprecedented financial difficulties the company is facing at present which have led to the sad decision to make some roles at the company redundant.”

Responding to Mr Fraser’s letter, Mr George told him it had raised “very serious issues and reflects concerns which I have commented on in Parliament.”

Mr Fraser, who is among the five journalists facing redundancy at CDM said: “It is very encouraging that our Cornish MPs are prepared to stand up for journalism.”

At a recent meeting in Truro, the National Union of Journalists’ Devon and Cornwall branch was revived, and Mr Fraser was elected chair.

General secretary Jeremy Dear said: “The union will do everything we can to support Stuart and his colleagues in their battle against cuts to the papers and redundancies.”

Mr Cooper said: “As it stands, of the five editorial roles in Cornwall we are proposing to make redundant, only one has been in front line reporting on our newspapers as we seek to protect our unique position as the leading provider of news and information in the county at a time when all regional media in the country is facing exactly the same challenges as we are.

“We remain committed to being a strong and proud Cornish business which invests in the excellent staff who produce our market-leading newspapers, magazines and websites.”


John Wood (21/04/2009 14:19:23)
What appears to be missed in this story is the fact that Andy Cooper recently appointed a deputy group editor to work under him, as well as an assistant editor. This ocured while other positions were being made redundant.
Generally most at CDM have always said that the company bucks the trend at Northcliffe, in that it is a nice place to work. But talking to its employees recently I have found this issue has caused anger as colleagues jobs are cut.