The world’s oldest continuously published newspaper is set to lose its editor in a restructure at a West Midlands publisher.
Berrow’s Worcester Journal has survived 53 different prime ministers, two world wars and the advent of the internet since being founded in 1690.
However now it is set to lose its own dedicated editor as part of a move to a centralised editorial structure at publisher Newsquest Midlands South.
The current editor, John Wilson, is one of three existing editors in the division who will have to compete for two senior editorial roles in the new set-up.
The plans unveiled by Worcester News editor Peter John yesterday will see the centralisation of the editorial operation of all titles in the division and are expected to lead to seven job losses overall.
The three editors’ roles will be replaced by one group editor and one deputy group editor covering all the titles.
Meanwhile the current four news editors and deputy news editors would be replaced by one head of content and two news editors.
Other proposed changes will see the present six-strong photographic team reduced to four and all sports subbing across the region centralised at the existing Worcester subbing hub.
This move, which would also affect the company’s Stourbridge and Hereford titles, will mean a net loss of three full-time and one part-time posts.
Peter said in a statement: “Because of current market conditions Newsquest Midlands South region is taking action to protect the overall business for the future.
“Staff are being consulted on a proposal to create an integrated editorial structure for all the Worcester division titles.
“It is envisaged that, if adopted, these proposals would see a total net loss of seven editorial jobs across the Midlands South region.
“The company will try to avoid unnecessary redundancy situations wherever possible and will be asking for volunteers and looking at natural wastage through non-filling of vacancies. No-one will be asked to leave the business before the end of the year.”
A formal 30-day consultation process on the proposals has now begun.
The proposed changes come in the wake of a similar restructure at Newsquest’s East Wales division which will see the loss of four editorial jobs along with the closure of two district offices.