Four weekly editors at a group of Johnston Press titles have taken voluntary redundancy triggering a reshuffle of senior editorial roles.
The publisher introduced an enhanced voluntary redundancy package last autumn in a bid to reduce ongoing costs with hundreds of journalists subsequently leaving the business.
The latest departures include four editors at JP titles in the South Midlands, leading to their roles being combined with those of other editors.
The four are Jim Stewart of the Bedford Times and Citizen and Biggleswade Chronicle, Charles Ladrook of the Louth Leader, Eileen Green of the Rutland and Stamford Mercury and, as previously reported, Mike Cooke of the Melton Times.
All of the roles vacated have now been taken on by other JP editors in the region.
The Bedford Times and Citizen will now be edited by Olga Norford, who is also editor of the Milton Keynes Citizen, while the Biggleswade Chronicle will come under Luton News editor Lynn Hughes.
Mark Edwards, editor of the Peteborough Telegraph, will now additionally have responsibility for the Stamford Mercury, while Paul Fisher will oversee the Louth Leader in addition to the Market Rasen Mail and Horncastle News.
Finally Paul Richardson, editor of the Grantham Journal, will combine this role with that of Melton Times editor following Mike’s departure.
Also on the move shortly is John Francis, currently editor of the Hemel Hempstead Gazette, whose duties will pass to Bucks Herald news chief Roger Hawes in Aylesbury.
Meanwhile Northampton Chronicle and Echo editor and South Midlands group editor David Summers’ role has been extended and both Lynn Hughes and Olga Norford will now report to him.
The changes will also see the closure of the reception desks at all the South Midlands titles, although the newsrooms themselves will remain.
A Johnston Press spokeswoman said: “Although all front counters have been closed, no further offices are being closed in the foreseeable future, so teams remain based in their local towns.”
An earlier JP statement on the Bedford changes led Local World-owned title Bedfordshire on Sunday to report incorrectly that the Times and Citizen was moving to Milton Keynes, when in fact most of its staff are remaining in Bedford.
Johnston Press has since apologised to the paper for what Richard Parkinson, managing director of JP Midlands, called a “PR screw-up.”