The regional publisher has announced plans to axe 25 roles across its Bradford, York and Darlington centres in the North of England, with ten new posts being created.
Editor roles in Bradford under threat include those of the Craven Herald’s Andrew Hitchon, left, who became its third editor in as many years last April, along with Richard Parker of the Keighley News and Catherine Turnbull Ilkley Gazette and Wharfedale Observer.
And in York, both the editor and deputy editor of the Ryedale Gazette & Herald are at risk of redundancy, along with four other editorial roles at the centre.
The series of announcements will see a total of 25 roles across the region disappear – 11 in Darlington, six in York and eight in Bradford.
However a total of ten new roles are being created, including eight at a new regional production management desk in Bradford catering for all Newsquest titles in Yorkshire and the North-East.
In Darlington, nine weekly and daily production journalists and a graphic designer on the Northern Echo will be at risk of redundancy.
Two production editor jobs will be retained at the centre, on the Echo and Stockton & Darlington Times, while a new role of group weeklies content editor is being created.
York-based staff at risk of redundancy are the Gazette & Herald’s editor and deputy editor, the York Press web editor and part-time digital community publisher, a newsroom assistant and deputy sports editor.
A new social media editor post is being created in York while the roles of chief sub, night production editor, features editor and content editor will transfer to Bradford.
In Bradford, the editors of the Craven Herald, Keighley News, and Ilkley Gazette/Wharfedale Observer are at risk of redundancy along with a features content manager, a commercial features writer, one features writer, a deputy sports editor and a graphic artist.
Eight new jobs will be created in the new production unit at Bradford, while four production roles will transfer there from Darlington. The proposed changes would come into effect from 1 June and a consultation period has now begun.
Regional managing director David Coates said in a company statement: “Over the course of the coming weeks we propose to make some changes to the structure of our editorial operations in York, Bradford and Darlington which we believe will help us meet the increasing demands of our growing online audience while at the same time placing the business on a more sustainable footing.
“The changes will result in some job losses but new roles will also be created.
“By consolidating production management of our newspapers in one regional centre, and centralising both daily and weekly content management in each centre, we believe we will be better able to manage the volume of work involved in producing our titles.
“Under the proposals, York-based and Darlington-based production roles would transfer to the Bradford production management centre.
“The Company will be exploring ways of avoiding compulsory redundancies and minimising the number of employees affected. We propose that these changes come into effect from 1 June 2015.
“With immediate effect we are entering into a period of consultation with those who may be affected by this proposal.”
Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, said: “The words used by our members following today’s announcements are ‘shell shocked’ and ‘job massacre’.
“After so many casualties and waves of cutbacks at Newsquest centres, it does seem that the company is at war with its staff.
“There may be jobs for some at Bradford, but who would trust the company enough to move home with the real risk the post will disappear in the near future?”
Earlier this week we reported that nine editorial posts including two deputy group editor roles are set to be cut as part of a management shake-up in Newsquest’s North London division.
It follows a decision to centralise the operations of 18 Newsquest titles in North London, Essex, Herts and Bucks at the company’s Watford offices under a single group editor in Tim Jones.