Ten new jobs are set to be created with 24 placed at risk of redundancy as a result of a new production hub plan involving a group of regional titles.
Regional publisher Archant wants to centralise production of all its weekly newspaper titles in London, Kent, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire at a single unit based in Norwich.
Now the plan is to extend the unit by creating an additional ten roles in Norwich and one in London, while placing 24 editorial production staff across the existing South East centres at risk of redundancy.
Editorial page production for London, Kent and Herts & Cambs publications is currently carried out in Ilford, Ashford, Stevenage, St Albans, Welwyn and Huntingdon.
A consultation will begin shortly with affacted staff.
Miller Hogg, managing director of Archant East, said the proposed move to Norwich was designed to improve efficiency and reduce production costs.
However he added: “Responsibility for all aspects of the content of the titles remains with newspaper editors and their news reporting teams who will continue to be locally based in existing offices.
“Sports reporting and production staff will also remain locally and are not affected by this proposal.”
The proposals, announced to staff at 11am yesterday before being made public at 5.45pm, follow a review of editorial production processes across Archant East’s weekly newspaper operations.
- Update: The National Union of Journalists has now issued a statement condemning the proposed move.
Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said: “The low-paid journalists at Archant, who have already borne pay cuts and pay freezes, now face losing their jobs in the name of efficiency.
“Uprooting more than 100 miles to work in Norwich is simply not realistic for those affected. Archant should engage in a genuine consultation on alternatives to these proposals and demonstrate they properly value quality local journalism and value their staff.
“Readers of Archant papers who support the campaign should contact the NUJ for more information.”