A regional daily is set to axe six jobs and reduce the number of change pages for one of its editions in a series of cost-cutting measures.
The Lancashire Telegraph, based in Blackburn, is planning to cut back on its coverage of the neighbouring town of Burnley with the loss of a news editor’s role and those of two trainee reporters.
Also under threat are a full-time picture desk assistant, a part-time picture desk assistant and a full-time librarian, while the Newsquest-owned title also plans to axe a vacant editorial artist’s role and reduce the hours of one photographer.
It is also understood staff were told verbally that the company would not be seeking a replacement for the currently vacant education reporter’s role.
In a letter, Kevin states: “Due to the need to continually review our operating procedures and manage our overheads as efficiently as possible, the company is considering a proposal to reduce overall costs within the Blackburn editorial department.”
A formal 30-day consultation period on the proposals is now under way and individual meetings between Kevin and those affected will take place over the next fortnight.
In his letter, Kevin added that voluntary redundancy requests from all editorial staff will be considered as part of the process.
The proposed cutbacks will leave just two reporters covering Burnley.
The paper’s subbing operation is already being transferred to Newquest’s central subbing hub in Newport, South Wales, with the loss of 17 subbing roles and six page planning roles in Blackburn.
Chris Gee, the Telegraph’s NUJ FoC, said: “The newsroom’s in a state of shock and people are finding it difficult to comprehend how we’re going to get a quality product out with this level of staff.”
Kevin has so far not responded to requests for further comment.