Up to 150 jobs and a series of district offices are under threat of being axed at MEN Media.
Up to 39 editorial jobs could go at its weekly titles around Greater Manchester along with a further 39 editorial and 72 non-editorial jobs on the Manchester Evening News, HTFP has learned.
It is expected that a combined pool of sub-editors will design and produce the MEN and the 22 weekly titles from the company’s head office in Manchester city centre but it is believe no titles are under threat of closure.
All district offices except the one in Stockport – home of the Stockport Express – are also under threat of closure. These include sites in Macclesfield, Rochdale, Tameside, Salford and Wilmslow.
The National Union of Journalists has reacted angrily to the news.
A joint statement issued by the MEN and weekly chapels said: “There is some hard talking to do now. We cannot stomach a pay freeze for the masses alongside bonuses for the top table.
“We anticipate real, practical difficulties producing our weekly newspapers alongside the MEN. We fear for local democracy and for the damage to regional journalism.
“We are also completely opposed to compulsory redundancies and will not tolerate the sacking of any journalist. Management needs to understand that.
“They need to talk to us quickly and constructively about how we can avoid compulsory job losses. If they don’t, we are in for a torrid time.”
This latest development follows a similar series of cutbacks announced by MEN Media last September when the company closed its some centres and moved journalists to neighbouring district offices.
A series of meetings are being held with staff throughout today.
Observer (10/03/2009 12:06:50)
Will there ever be a HTFP headline?
JOBS SHOCK – no newspaper posts being cut today.
I suppose it will be when all newspapers have gone!
George Sos (10/03/2009 13:31:01)
Thinking of going freelance? Think again. Try training in tractor maintenance and Mandarin and then move East
Dandepan (10/03/2009 13:48:36)
More golden eggs sacrificed on the high altar of the Guardian. Time to dump the nationals and let them swim in the real waters instead of plundering local newspapers. No doubt another fat bonus for Rusbridger and co
COLIN LAMBERT (10/03/2009 14:39:10)
TIME FOR A GOOD LOCAL CAMPAIGN.
LETS HIT THE STREETS THIS WEEK END TO SAVE OUR LOCAL WEEKLY NEWSPAPERS.
JOIN OUR CAMPAIGN TO SAVE
NOT EVERYONE WANTS TO TURN ON A COMPUTER TO READ LOCAL NEWS.
LET’S KEEP OUR ONLY WEEKLY NEWSPAPERS
WE WILL BE ON THE STREETS OF OUR TOWNCENTRES THIS SATURDAY SIGN THE PETITION.
FAST WOMAN (10/03/2009 14:56:45)
And where’s Bob Satchwell when you need him to join in the celebrations of today’s glut of exciting news?
Cruella (11/03/2009 09:54:34)
I think the fact that this announcement was made to the staff on what is most weekly titles deadline day illustrates perfectly the utter disrespect management shows towards these newspapers. Just last week, the Stockport Express was named the North West’s Number 1 weekly paper, according to the latest official circulation figures. The success of the weekly titles is due to its talented journalists being in the heart of the communities they serve.
NewsyEd (11/03/2009 14:20:46)
Surely it is time that Rusbridger was expelled from the NUJ. Surely it is time that The Guardian and Observer learned to sink or swim without exploiting local journalists.
In which towns will these weekend protests be held – because I’ll go and support them.
bambam (11/03/2009 16:58:04)
a lot of the stories i have read about this make it sound as though the stockport paper will continue to be produced on patch – it won’t – and don’t include a full list of the papers.
so, these are the papers that will in future be written and put together from central manchester: accrington, rossendale, rochdale, oldham, heywood, middleton, beswick, tameside, stockport, macclesfield, wilmslow, salford, south manchester, trafford.
but don’t worry – nothing ever happens in any of those places