Subbing jobs at Newsquest’s southern region are under threat as the result of plans for two subbing hubs covering four daily titles.
Most production operations for The Argus, Brighton, are to be centralised at the Southampton home of the Southern Daily Echo.
It is understood that the change will result in the net loss of five posts in Brighton, but this will be partly counterbalanced by the creation of an additional three jobs in Southampton.
In a parallel move, the subbing desks of the Daily Echo, Bournemouth, and the Dorset Echo are set to be merged at a new hub in Weymouth with a net loss of four posts.
The Brighton changes were announced to staff at the end of last week.
Seven sub-editing posts on The Argus are being reduced to two, while the post of Worthing reporter is also set to disappear.
Meanwhile in Bournemouth and Weymouth, the overall number of subs will be reduced from 18 to 14.
Newsquest regional managing director John Banks, whose region covers all the affected titles, was not available. No-one else from the company has yet responded to requests for comment.
Members of the National Union of Journalists’ chapel at The Argus are to hold a meeting on Thursday to consider their response to the plans.
The union’s general secretary Jeremy Dear said: “Staff on the Argus are right to be angry. Sub-editing a local newspaper from Southampton does make sense – but only if that paper serves Southampton.
“This move is a continuation of Newsquest’s short-sighted policy of spreading resources thinly, ensuring local newspapers are local only in name.
“We’ve seen local newspapers operations fully or partially moved to regional hubs before and the result is always the same – newspapers that are increasingly less well informed and more remote from the communities they serve, leading to falling circulation and ultimately closure.
Mr Dear added: “To suggest that The Brighton Argus could be produced outside of the community it serves and reports to, and upon which it relies for revenue, shows a disregard for the quality of the paper and the intelligence of its readership.
“Local knowledge and expertise is crucial to an accurate and effectively edited paper and to throw this invaluable resource away simply in order to cut a few more jobs is a desperately false economy.”