Newsquest plans to make further editorial job cuts at a series of newly-acquired titles, according to the National Union of Journalists.
The NUJ claims that four out of five photographer roles are set to be cut along with other key editorial staff. It is understood that three title editor roles including Lesley’s will be replaced by a single editor-in-chief.
Newsquest recently axed the production department of the Berkshire titles, with the loss of around seven jobs, when work was transferred to its existing production hubs.
According to the union, editorial staff are also now at risk at Newsquest’s Southampton and Basingstoke sites, which include the Southern Daily Echo and the Basingstoke Gazette, although these were not previously part of the Romanes group.
NUJ national organiser Laura Davison said: “What Newsquest is doing is absolutely shocking and exposes the reality of life working for the company.
“Within a few short months of acquiring these titles they have blithely stripped out roles and taken the axe to experienced staff; is this the ‘opportunity’ CEO Henry Faure Walker referred to when the papers were acquired?
“Under these proposals the papers would lose four out of five professional photographers plus other key editorial staff.
“Reading has already seen one of its papers shut down, now another is being rapidly denuded. Journalists and readers should make common cause to decry these cuts.”
Last November, Trinity Mirror shut the Reading Post as a print publication, resulting in a huge sales boost for its main rival, the Chronicle.
Newsquest has not yet responded to a request for a comment.