A free weekly newspaper is set to be axed in a move which will see a regional daily sister title delivered without charge one day a week.
The move comes after seven staff left the Blackburn-based Telegraph last week following a series of redundancies, including a news editor, a photographer and two trainee reporters who cover Burnley.
The redundancy plans were first reported on HoldtheFrontPage last month.
One of the trainees whose jobs were axed, Katie Mercer, will find out tomorrow if she has triumphed in the news journalism category at the NCTJ’s awards for excellence.
Katie, the only reporter on the Telegraph staff to hail from and live in Blackburn, has found alternative employment at another Newsquest-owned daily, the Oxford Mail.
Other roles to have been lost include one full-time and one part-time picture desk assistant, and a full-time librarian, while the Telegraph will not be replacing recently vacated graphic artist and education reporter positions.
A number of subbing jobs were also lost at the title earlier in the year as part of Newsquest’s transfer of much of its production operation to a hub in Newport.
Under the latest proposals, an additional 10,000 copies of the Telegraph will be distributed across Burnley “via selected outlets and town centre locations” on Thursdays.
The strategy will not affect the Blackburn edition of the paper.
In an announcement sent to staff, Newsquest North West managing director Nick Fellows said: “This is an exciting move, with a significant increase in audience potential for the Telegraph.
“As a result of this strategy, the weekly free Citizen title will cease to be published in print. On all other days of the week, the Lancashire Telegraph Burnley edition will remain a paid for product.”
Chris Gee, the National Union of Journalists’ Blackburn FoC, said: “This announcement comes less than two days after two reporters, a news editor and a photographer dedicated to the Burnley edition of the paper, along with three other key members of editorial staff were made redundant by Newsquest.
“Around 20 news professionals, the vast majority talented and experienced journalists, have lost their jobs in the Blackburn newsroom since the start of October.
“While the NUJ applauds attempts by Newsquest to increase the circulation of the Lancashire Telegraph in Burnley, it is impossible to see in the face of these brutal cutbacks, how remaining staff, already working untold unpaid hours beyond their contracts, can continue to maintain the quality of the paper we are so proud to work for.”