Plans to switch production of Newsquest’s Yorkshire and North East newspapers to South Wales have been hit by delays of up to a month.
The regional publisher is moving production of all its York, Bradford and Darlington titles to its subbing hub in Newport, South Wales with the potential loss of up to 25 jobs.
But it has emerged that the Northern Echo and other Darlington titles will not now move to the new system until May with some of the Bradford titles moving in early June.
The changes came to light in an internal email sent to staff in Bradford on Friday which has been seen by HTFP.
It is understood that the Northern Echo and its sister titles will now transfer to Newport on 7 May, which according to insiders is around a month later than the original working schedule.
The Craven Herald will be the first of the Bradford-based titles to make the switch, in the week commencing 19 May, with Bradford daily the Telegraph & Argus and other sister weeklies moving two to three weeks later in early June.
The internal memo said: “Please bear in mind that all dates are still provisional and may yet change again. This is a complex and intricate operation and it is essential that we get the installations right first time.”
The National Union of Journalists, which held a one-day strike over the plan last month, urged the company to use the latest delays to reconsider the plan.
Northern & Midlands organiser Chris Morley said: “Newsquest needs to get real and use the constantly receding deadline for transfers of work at Darlington and Bradford to draw back from the brink and reassess what is important in local newspapers: that it is rooted in, and a genuine product of, the community it seeks to serve.”
“We know local managers where work has already transferred are in despair at the failings and lack of quality and control. The impact is already telling with massive additional workloads and loss of morale for the remaining staff.”
Nobody from Newsquest would comment on the record about the delays.