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Subbing jobs under threat at Midlands weeklies

Production jobs are under threat at a series of weekly papers in the Midlands as a result of a restructuring plan announced today.

Subbing and design operations at Northcliffe-owned Central Independent Newspapers are set to be moved to the Stoke HQ of sister daily The Sentinel.

Titles affected include the Tamworth Herald, Sutton Coldfield Observer and Walsall Advertiser.

The proposals were outlined by Sentinel editor-in-chief Mike Sassi in presentations to staff at both Tamworth and Stoke earlier today.

Mike said: “Northcliffe Media Ltd is to begin consulting with its staff over a plan to remodel its businesses in Staffordshire.

“At this stage, no firm decisions have been made. However, it is proposed that production of the newspapers and magazines currently published by Central Independent Newspapers at Tamworth will be switched to the Staffordshire Sentinel News and Media building in Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent.

“This is part of a proposal to reorganise editorial departments within CIN.

“The proposals will further cement the position of The Sentinel, The Post and Times and CIN as the premier providers of local news and information in Staffordshire and South Cheshire.”

Pages for the Post and Times in Leek are already produced in the SSN building and the plan will result in an expanded production unit there.

It is understood that the wider proposal to reorganise editorial departments within CIN will affect news, sport, photographic, magazines and commercial features.

In a memo to all CIN staff, seen by HoldtheFrontPage, Mike makes reference to “possible redundancies,” although no figure has been put on this.

A committee is being set up to conduct what the memo terms the “redundancy consultation process” and staff have been invited to nominate representatives to serve on this. The National Union of Journalists is not officially recognised at the Sentinel.

Comments

satnav rana (26/01/2009 17:41:05)
All makes sense to me

bob didley (26/01/2009 17:42:48)
The Stoke centre has been chosen because most of the Stokies are too stupid to join a union

Martin (26/01/2009 18:21:39)
Mmmm… Bob, I have worked at newspapers that have unions, where siginficant jobs have been cut. The union can do absolutley nothing in these economic times, if a company needs to restructure to make a profit then they will do it regardless.

fedup (03/02/2009 20:19:36)
Ripping the heart out of local journalism doesn’t seem to phase any of the local paper owners, who at the end of the day only care about their profits and not the communities they serve.
By subbing these papers in Stoke you lose all local knowledge and may as well get them done in a cheap Third World Country.

newshound (03/02/2009 23:09:06)
Its not just subbing jobs but reporters, photographers, writers and support staff.
The place is having the heart ripped out of it. 24 of 42 are losing their jobs or being asked to relocate. The remaining 18 will be asked to do page fill journalism. What a shame.

BigBob (30/07/2009 13:13:23)
It’s stupid – Northcliffe used use the strapline “the heart of all things local” or something tacky like that. Moving the subbing to Stoke from Tamworth (40 miles away) is a joke. They should look at terminating contractors who are on £500 a day rates in the IT department (leeches).

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