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Seven jobs at risk as Archant titles close

A regional newspaper publisher is to axe a series of “news-zines” with the loss of up to seven jobs less than a year after they were launched.

Archant’s Herts and Cambs division today announced the closure of the four-edition Scene series of newspapers in Harlow and East Herts.

The titles, which had a distribution of 55,000 copies, were launched last September as a direct replacement for two more conventional newspaper titles, the Harlow Herald and East Herts Herald.

At the time, the company hailed the initiative as an attempt to harness “the excitement and thrust of a newspaper with the glamour and comfort of a magazine.”

Announcing that today’s editions would be the last, editorial director Paul Richardson put the decision down to “continuing tough market conditions and increasing business costs, including a 25 per cent year-on-year increase in newsprint prices.”

“The management team at Archant Herts & Cambs decided to focus resources on other titles in the portfolio to improve performance in areas where its market position is stronger,” he said.

“The closure means seven editorial jobs have been identified at risk of redundancy and consultation with those affected has begun.  We are hopeful that most of those affected can be found alternative employment within the organisation.

“No other publications in the Archant Herts & Cambs portfolio are affected by these moves, and we will be focussing our efforts in Herts on our local market-leading titles including the Welwyn Hatfield Times, Herts Advertiser and Comet series as well as the website.”

The paper’s editorial team, led by editor Barry Hunt, was based at Stevenage, with editions covering Bishop’s Stortford, Harlow, Hertford, Ware, Cheshunt, Hoddesdon and the surrounding areas.

It was available by door-to-door delivery, free pick-up and paid-for sales.