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Print deadlines brought forward in Trinity Mirror outsourcing move

Print deadlines at two regional dailies are set to be brought forward after publisher Trinity Mirror announced changes to its transport operation.

A number of non-editorial jobs are at risk at the company’s North-East centres as a result of a decision to move to wholesale distribution.

The company is closing its North-East transport department and transferring the work to Menzies Distribution and Smiths News in a bid to create a bigger sales window for Newcastle’s Evening Chronicle and the Teesside-based Evening Gazette.

However it means off-stone times at both titles will move forward with the Evening Gazette now due to be printed overnight at Johnston Press’s print plant at Dinnington, near Sheffield.

The company says eight printing roles at its Teeeside print plant are at risk of redundancy, while “a number” of transport jobs are also affected.

The move is also likely to mean to end of the branded distribution vans that carry the Evening Chronicle masthead.

A Trinity Mirror spokesman said: “Following a review of our Trinity Mirror Printing manufacturing scheduling in the North East, Trinity Mirror has announced a number of changes aimed at driving circulation performance.

“To enable the Evening Gazette to be distributed within the wholesale distribution network, printing will transfer to the Johnston Press site at Dinnington, where it will be printed overnight. In addition, the Chronicle’s off stone times will be brought forward.

“The distribution of the Evening Gazette and Chronicle will move to Menzies Distribution and Smiths News. This will enable both titles to reach the market alongside national newspapers and benefit from a greater sales window.

“There are no editorial job losses as a result of this proposal, however eight roles at TMP Teesside are at risk of redundancy. Trinity Mirror has entered into consultation with all affected staff.”

The Evening Chronicle and its sister title The Journal will continue to be printed at Teesside.

The Chronicle had already moved to overnight printing but it is understood that its off-stone times will now come forward to before midnight.

13 comments

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  • November 7, 2013 at 10:25 am
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    The ‘Evening’ was dropped from the Chronicle some time ago which is just as well as it’s on the streets not long after the Journal now – breakfast papers anyone? Presumable the Gazette will be getting the same treatment.

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  • November 7, 2013 at 11:10 am
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    Good luck with that.

    Newspaper sales fell off a cliff when the Birmingham Evening Mail and Coventry Evening Telegraph went overnight.

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  • November 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm
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    Is it just me or should the headline and first paragraph reflect the fact that jobs are at risk in the outsourcing move and not the bringing forward of print deadlines?

    Surely the former and not the latter is of more concern to both those affected and the general public.

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  • November 7, 2013 at 12:54 pm
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    This isn’t true outsourcing – T-M printing seem to be run as a standalone business and tender for work as any other fully independent printer would, and if Trinity Mirror Regionals get a better deal at JP then that’s their financial decision. I’m surprised jobs are at risk though – T-M Printing at Middlesbrough still produces all of the ncjMedia papers, the rival Northern Echo and nationals, while the Newcastle presses only print non-Trinity Mirror papers.

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  • November 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm
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    Former Journo- you and I both. I always get the impression on HTFP that if it’s not journalists losing their jobs, then it’s not a concern, as they’re not real people

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  • November 7, 2013 at 8:06 pm
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    Actually, Enough is Enough, circulation performance at the Birmingham Mail improved after it switched to overnight publication, as did the Coventry Telegraph.

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  • November 8, 2013 at 3:41 pm
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    Your comment, ‘Get it right’, is not accurate, so lets take a look at the ABC facts.

    Sales at the Birmingham Mail were a daily average of 56,495 in 2009, when the paper was still ‘live’. Sales then fell to a daily average of 48,660 in 2010, after it had become an overnight publication. That’s a daily fall of 7,835, and so I do not see how that can be termed an ‘improvement’.

    Today, more than three years after going overnight, the Mail sells a daily average of 32,196, (and gives another 7,533 away to make a total daily circulation of 39,729). Even considering today’s ‘circulation’ total (with 18.96% given away) there has been a daily drop of 16,766 copies since 2009. Again, hardly an improvement.

    There are so many reasons for what have been long-term print sales and circulation falls, of course: higher cover prices, growing digital media, the recession, editorial resource cuts, circulation resource cuts, marketing resource cuts – and other factors.

    But I would contend that earlier deadlines and overnight printing have contributed to falling sales.

    Despite this, I would commend continued efforts by the current Mail editor and his remaining staff for a product that I still enjoy reading (albeit free on i-pad).

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  • November 13, 2013 at 11:11 am
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    Get it right… you got it wrong.

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  • November 13, 2013 at 11:37 am
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    Actually I didn’t get it wrong. Steve is right in that circulation continued to fall. The trend improved (ie the sales decline improved) for a while after both papers went overnight.

    There are many other factors, like Steve says, to blame for the decline of newspaper circulations. Going overnight isn’t one of them because the newspapers are on sale for longer. Anyone who says you need multiple live editions to break news to readers is ignoring social media, TV etc.

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  • November 13, 2013 at 3:09 pm
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    ‘Get it right’, You claimed the circulation of Trinity Mirror’s titles IMPROVED after the papers went overnight.
    It’s accepted by all of us working on these newspapers that circulation figures fell massively after going overnight.
    Yes there are many other factors which contribute to the decline of our print products, but you must understand that taking them overnight (albeit the correct decision when faced with the daunting figures involved) cost us dearly in terms of newspaper sales.
    It saved us plenty of hemorrhaging revenue, but it was an undeniable catastrophe for newspaper sales.
    It is plain wrong to suggest going overnight improved our sales performance. That’s simply not true. And anyone who has been here for more than four or five years knows it.

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