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Staff to meet bosses over Midlands shake-up

Staff from Johnston Press weekly titles will be meeting with management today to discuss proposals to centralise three sub-editing operations.

Last week we revealed that the up to 49 sub-editors’ jobs were under threat at the company’s Central Counties, Anglian and Lincolnshire divisions as it looked to shift staff to three main hubs in Northampton, Peterborough and Milton Keynes.

Staff and National Union of Journalists branch representatives from across the Midlands and Anglian regions will gather in Peterborough as part of a consultation process currently on-going between staff and bosses.

If the plans are given the green light, sub-editors in Banbury, Rugby, Daventry and Leamington would move to Northampton.

All subbing for Lincolnshire Newspapers and Anglia Newspapers would be done in Peterborough while subs in Buckingham, Aylesbury and Hemel Hempstead would work from Milton Keynes.

In a statement last week Midlands Division MD Nick Mills said: “Our objective is always to ensure that our newspapers and websites remain at the heart of their communities.

“The proposed changes will ensure the efficient continued delivery of high quality, local content across our many news delivery channels.”


Fat cat (28/01/2009 10:43:39)
Rather than meet the bosses, why don’t those employees under threat all borrow a million apiece and buy Johnston’s they are only worth 55million on the stock exchange.
Then rather than assett strip, sell off titles not in their area to pay off their borrowings and also get rid of the monstrosity in York, valued at 100million. They’ll keep their jobs, get rid of useles management and be quids in.
JP must realise with their debts that they are ripe for takeover and asset stripping which in the capitalist world is how these things work.
With the break up of Johnston, and then perhaps TM and the other gannets (sorry Newsquest), perhaps we might see newspapers once again fulfilling their role as news gatherers and unbiased local information providers.
Unfortunately, I seem to be living in a dream world and this of course will never happen.

Former hack (28/01/2009 11:08:48)
How can these papers remain ‘at the heart of local communities’ if they are being subbed so far away? Do they really think a sub in Leamington would commute to Northampton every day?
Things were strained when I left one of the JP Central Counties papers in 2005. It makes me weep to see how bad it’s got since then.

dave (28/01/2009 12:46:01)
Nick Mills, why spout such crap? You are talking brown stuff.

Lister (28/01/2009 14:17:30)
I don’t think you’re in a dream world, Fat Cat. There is a momentum steadiliy growing across the country for buyouts – by businesses and people who know the importance of quality journalism. Like the pack of bankers who brought Northern Rock and the others to their knees, the numbskulls running our business are living on borrowed time.

Major Eyeswater (28/01/2009 22:07:13)
It’s not the first story on this site about the proposed centralisaton, but again it has missed out the East Midlands division. There are staff in Stamford, Rutland, Bourne, Spalding, King’s Lynn and Wisbech affected by this as the subbing on those titles shifts to Peterborough and the news gathering (or content gathering as it appears to be referred to now) is “rationalised” in each centre.
The roles of editors, deputy editors, sports editors, news editors and deputy news editors are disappearing – to be replaced by content editors and deputy content editors shared between offices.
The numbers of those affected just do not add up.
Figures quoted by JP are ambiguous to say the least.
Anyone working in the East Midlands, Anglia and Lincolnshire Newspapers divisions can see how many people it takes to produce the titles. At a rough calculation it’s more than 40 and apparently that amount of work can be done with the creation of 14 subbing roles at Peterborough.
I cannot see how all that will “…ensure the efficient continued delivery of high quality, local content across our many news delivery channels”….

Mike (29/01/2009 17:34:56)
Axing experienced subs and cutting news editors is the death knell for local weekly newspapers.
I worked on a weekly in the East Midlands for a couple of years and the number of first-class stories our experienced subs would bring in was astounding and exemplified to young journalists the value of having good local sources.
Basing fewer of them in remote places is the worst move these faceless, spineless business managers could make.
JP, Trinity Mirror and all the other fat greedy cats at the table are not just killing the quality of local newspapers, they are also stabbing at the heart of democracy.