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Jobs go at daily as subbing and reporting roles merged

A number of job losses are in prospect at a regional daily in a restructure which will see subbing and reporting roles merged.

Editorial staff at the Grimsby Telegraph were told last week that production and journalist roles would be merged to form 12 new content manager jobs.

The move is resulting in two editorial job losses, while an indeterminate number of other posts will go across other departments.

Publisher Local World said the redundancies, which also affect management, commercial and administrative staff, followed a strategic review of the business.

The journalist job losses are thought to be the first editorial redundancies made since the new regional publisher was formed in January from titles previously owned by Northcliffe Media and Iliffe News and Media.

It is understood the paper aims to make the two job losses through voluntary redundancies.

Editor Michelle Lalor told staff about the restructure last week and meetings with the affected journalists are understood to have been held on Monday.

An internal announcement by Michelle, which has been seen by HTFP, said the move was being made because of cost-cutting pressures.

She wrote: “I explained that the business is under presure to reduce costs while increasing the overall pagination of each publication.

“This has led to a considered review of the way that we provide content and produce our publication.

“As a consequence of this, it is proposed to merge the production and journalist roles to form 12 new content manager roles, supported by a product designer. This would see an overall reduction in headcount of two FTE.”

A statement from Local World said: “Grimsby and Scunthorpe Media Group continually reviews its operations in accordance with its current revenue streams.

“As a result, a strategic review has taken place over the last few weeks which may result in possible headcount reductions across all areas of the business, which includes editorial.

“It is vitally important in the current climate that we remain as structurally focused as possible in the ever changing multi-media environment at Local World. We have notified all employees who may be affected and consultations with those employees are underway.”

The company has declined to put a figure on the overall number of job losses.

Commenting on the job losses, National Union of Journalists Northern & Midlands organiser Chris Morley said:  “It has been reported that Local World made more than £7m in profits in the first three months of this year and could go on to make £30m in 2013, since the merger of the Northcliffe and Iliffe titles. So it seems quite bizarre that one of the first things it does is to shed editorial staff.

“This is clearly a case of having no regard for quality journalism. David Montgomery should be investing his profits in what will make his newspaper group a success: the journalists.”

21 comments

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  • June 13, 2013 at 9:10 am
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    Two redundancies among editorial doesn’t sound very many – but then we don’t know the total numbers at risk. I guess newsdesk, photography and web jobs are also in the equation.

    On the plus side, it will add skills to the reporters’ CVs for when the user generated content takes over.

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  • June 13, 2013 at 9:25 am
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    I’d suggest every sub-editor in Local World studies Michelle Lalor’s words very carefully. Grimsby is clearly the first patient into the transformation triage ward….

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  • June 13, 2013 at 9:59 am
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    Sounds like usual management gobbledegook for “let’s dumb down to save cash and never mind the quality”. Be interesting to hear how reporters’ and subs’ jobs will be ‘merged’.

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  • June 13, 2013 at 10:51 am
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    As a reporter I often think I’ve produced faultless copy – until a sub points out the mistakes. This is an ill-judged move on Local World’s part.

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  • June 13, 2013 at 11:19 am
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    Two redundancies may not sound much, Dave. But don’t forget, this is just the latest round of job losses. For many of those affected, this is the fourth time they have gone through the redundancy process in as many years.

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  • June 13, 2013 at 11:21 am
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    You cannot sub your own copy, or expect subs to go out reporting. They are two totally different jobs, as I know, having done them. Would you ask Ryan Giggs to play in goal? This will spell disaster, just watch.

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  • June 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm
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    Am guessing it really means that subs will be going and reps will write into shapes till the copy fits, thus removing the need for subs.

    Obvs, that’s with the caveat that everything’s perfect, which it usually is, right?

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  • June 13, 2013 at 12:38 pm
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    When did stories become ‘content’, and newspapers become ‘products’?

    It’s just more management BS.

    And the next time I read ‘strategic review’, I’m gonna get medieval on the idiot who spouts it.

    We’re journalists and see through all this claptrap – why can’t they just say it how it is? The business is screwed, you lot are the last survivors, and the sharks are circling.

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  • June 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm
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    These figures can’t be right. They’re going to run a daily newspaper with 12 journalists doing both the reporting and subbing? Presumably, given weekends / holidays that’ll typically be about 8 people in work each day. Sounds challenging to say the least.

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  • June 13, 2013 at 1:42 pm
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    It’s always bloody editorial who get the bullet.
    Wonder if Monty will expect the sales reps to set their own ads?
    Now that WOULD be funny.

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  • June 13, 2013 at 1:59 pm
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    It’s the Liverpool Pathway treatment applied to journalists.

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  • June 13, 2013 at 3:29 pm
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    Why do you need subs anyway? When I was a reporter I always produced fualtless coyp.

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  • June 13, 2013 at 3:38 pm
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    I’m so glad I left what would become one of Local World’s titles before the takeover – this just spells disaster (subbing pun unintended).

    You can, in theory, be an accomplished sub and reporter but you can’t do both at the same time. No matter how eagle-eyed you are, it’s so easy to overlook mistakes in your own copy because you’re too close to the material.

    The very fact that a second, fresh pair of eyes is checking your copy over is half the benefit of having subs, let alone the fact that they’re (hopefully!) chosen for their attention to detail when they’re given the role.

    That’s to say nothing of the disaster that is writing to template – not even being able to lead or kern copy and headlines means having to hack stuff back to fit it in instead of just tweaking the spacing slightly.

    But then again, if you’re looking to “to reduce costs while increasing the overall pagination of each publication” the only way you can do that is to let quality take a hit. ‘Twas ever thus in this line of work…

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  • June 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm
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    Don’t worry – it can be done….ask the stressed-out demoralised staff at JP who have had to make it work for some time now

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  • June 13, 2013 at 7:20 pm
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    “It is vitally important in the current climate that we remain as structurally focused as possible in the ever changing multi-media environment…”

    It is salt in the wound for those now threatened with redundancy that the people wielding the axe cannot do so without uttering such bewildering management-speak garbage as this.
    You would almost have more respect for these grim reapers if they did some plain speaking.

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  • June 13, 2013 at 9:17 pm
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    A daily newspaper with a total journalistic staff of 12??? We had more than that on our subs desk when I last worked on a regional 10 years ago. Sad times.

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  • June 17, 2013 at 3:03 pm
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    Your story says it is thought these are the first editorial redundancies since the formation of Local World – wrong I’m afraid as there have been editorial redundancies at the Burton Mail this year, both in January and April, after it became a part of Local World.

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  • June 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm
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    Bluestringer

    “It’s always bloody editorial who get the bullet”

    Have you read the article correctly???? It says: “The move is resulting in two editorial job losses, while an indeterminate number of other posts will go across other departments”

    Typical lazy comment directed towards advertising, when in fact, it sounds like its advertising that will be bearing the brunt……..

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  • June 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm
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    Frankly amazed they’re keeping anyone in editorial at all, given LW’s long-term goal of having PRs writing the copy (reporters actually reporting is such a waste of cutting-and-pasting time) so LW can still pretend to be a news organisation while actually making its money (if any) from websites full of regurgitated celebrity gossip, retweeting and a cack-handed attempt to rip off Facebook.

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  • June 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm
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    But what about cross-pollinating with some HuffPo style contributors? What about the mobile platform enhancement? Surely old-fashioned newspapers are on the way out.

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