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Midlands newspaper group to axe up to 90 staff

The publisher of Britain’s biggest-selling regional daily is set to axe a tenth of its workforce in the face of continued difficult trading conditions.

The Midland News Association, owner of the Wolverhampton-based Express & Star, the Shropshire Star and a number of weekly titles, has launched a formal consultation over plans for up to 90 redundancies.

It is unclear how many of jobs under threat will be editorial posts, with bosses hoping the bulk of the cuts can be achieved by voluntary redundancies.

The company, which currently employs around 900 people, met with members of the staff councils at the two daily titles this week to explain the difficult conditions it faces.

MNA managing director Alan Harris said: “Like every other newspaper publisher, the MNA is facing very difficult trading conditions and there seems to be no sign of improvement.

“If we are to continue to invest for the future in our publications, both in print and on-line, then we must make some cost savings.

“The board fully understand that this is a very difficult time for all staff and we are doing our very best to keep everybody informed of what is happening.”

The announcement by MNA comes in the same week the Express & Star and Shropshire Star launched paywalls on part of their websites in a new digital package on offer to readers.


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  • April 8, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Devastating. Nobody is safe. As a news man I selfishly hope as few cuts as possible are editorial, but nobody can win in these situations and the net result is always a poorer product.

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  • April 8, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Bad news indeed, and a sad day indeed. But NUJ members won’t want to leave negotiations to staff councils. I trust that management intends to conduct comprehensive negotiations with the NUJ over what will be a complex issue involving both potential redundancies, and the resultant effect on the quality of the paper if those redundancies take place. When I was there it was always management’s boast that the paper sold because of the quality, and the comprehensive nature, of the coverage of local news. So staffing numbers were inextricably linked to the quality of the paper, and I hope they haven’t forgotten that.

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