A shake-up of regional publisher Northcliffe’s South East weeklies is expected to lead to around 15 fewer job losses than originally proposed.
The company announced on 6 September that up to 38 jobs were at risk as a result of a restructure of its businesses in Essex, Kent, Sussex and Surrey.
However the company now expects the overall number of job losses to be in the region of 23.
So far, voluntary redundancies have been agreed with 17 members of staff and bosses hope to limit the number of compulsory redundancies to no more than six.
South East managing director Richard Karn told HTFP: “We have been able to agree voluntary redundancy with 17 members of staff.
“As a result of this, combined with a policy of non-replacement of vacancies created by staff turnover we are optimistic that the number of compulsory redundancies may be as low as six.”
As previously reported, the shake-up has seen four ‘senior editors’ appointed to oversee all the papers in each of the four divisions although each title also retains an individual editor.
News editor and chief reporter appointments for most of the main titles in each division have also been confirmed.
However some staff have had to undergo “matrix” selection procedures owing to competition for the remaining jobs.
Photographers are also expected to be matrix assessed with a reduced number of photographer roles available.
Interviews are being held shortly for features jobs based at the Essex Chronicle officers in Chelmsford, while a number of editorial assistants are also being recruited.
According to the memo, news editor appointments have been confirmed as follows:
Croydon Advertiser – Gabriel Shepard
Surrey Mirror Series – Alex Morrison,
East Grinstead and Surrey Mirror Series – Claire Cromie
Kent & Sussex Courier – James Wallin
Sevenoaks Chronicle – Harriet Cooke
Brentwood Gazette – Chris Richards
Isle of Thanet Gazette & Canterbury Times – Kathy Bailes
Dover Express & Folkestone Herald – Eleanor Jones
The following staff have been confirmed as chief reporters:
Croydon Advertiser – Gareth Davies,
Surrey Mirror series – Sam Blackledge,
Crawley News/East Grinstead – David Farbrother
Kent & Sussex Courier and Sevenoaks Chronicle team – Matthew Young and Mary Harris
Isle of Thanet Gazette & Canterbury Times – Liz Crudgington