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More jobs at risk and daily to go weekly in publisher’s latest restructures

A daily newspaper is set to go weekly and up to eight editorial jobs are at risk in the latest series of restructures by Trinity Mirror.

Trinity Mirror has announced that former Local World title the Nuneaton News will go weekly, leaving the Nuneaton edition of the Coventry Telegraph, which will feature an increased number of change pages, as the sole daily newspaper covering the town.

The move will see approximately four jobs lost in Nuneaton, which was also served by the weekly Nuneaton Tribune before TM closed it last year, while a further four are facing redundancy after the company announced a restructure of its recently-acquired South Wales titles.

It is understood two photographer roles, a sportsdesk role and a production role will be lost at the South Wales Evening Post as a result.

A front page from the Nuneaton News in March marking the launch of a campaign to find a new cemetery for the town

A recent front page from the Nuneaton News marking the launch of a campaign to find a new cemetery for the town

HTFP also understands four vacant roles in South Wales – a production job, a digital job and two journalist jobs in Carmarthen and Llanelli – will not be filled.

And the websites of the Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star will also close, with content instead being posted on the site of the Swansea-based Evening Post to “better serve larger local audiences.”

Llanelli Star editor Rebecca Davies, who also took on the Journal editorship after Emma Bryant’s departure in November, has already left the business to take up the position of executive press and media relations officer with the University of Wales Trinity St David.

Trinity Mirror has now confirmed that it is their intention to replace Rebecca in the role.

A statement read to staff in South Wales on Wednesday reads:  “Trinity Mirror today announced plans to expand www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk to provide enhanced hyperlocal news to communities in Swansea and the surrounding areas.

“As a result, content from the Llanelli Star and Carmarthen Journal websites will be merged into the www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk, to better serve larger local audiences.

“This will result in a net reduction of four roles across editorial, production and photography. Staff affected by these proposals have now entered a period of consultation.

“There will be no impact on Trinity Mirror’s print portfolio in South Wales and the business remains committed to providing first-class local content across our daily, weekly and digital brands.”

A statement about the Nuneaton changes , also issued on Wednesday, reads: “Trinity Mirror today announced changes to its portfolio in Nuneaton, with the town to be served daily by the Nuneaton Telegraph, weekly by the Nuneaton News and digitally through the websites of both titles.

“The Nuneaton Telegraph, published daily, will provide more local news coverage for the area through an increase in change pages. It will be complemented by a bolstered weekly Nuneaton News.

“As a result of this announcement, there will be a reduction of approximately four roles, and staff affected are now in consultation.”

The company said yesterday it expects to find £12m of ‘synergy savings’ in 2017 from the integration of the former LW titles with its existing regional portfolio.

Other recently announced changes will see around 14 editorial jobs lost at Trinity Mirror’s newly acquired titles in the South-West of England with 13 websites being merged into three, while four editors of ex-Local World titles have also left in recent weeks along with a number of photographers.

The Nuneaton News began life 24 years ago as the Heartland Evening News, which was launched as a new independent start-up after the then Evening Tribune went from daily to weekly.

It is now edited by Gary Phelps, who is based in Tamworth and also edits the Tamworth Herald, Sutton Coldfield Observer, Lichfield Mercury, Walsall Advertiser, Great Barr Observer and Cannock Mercury.

The National Union of Journalists said the paper’s staff had been “heartbroken” to learn it was to become a weekly publication and the town’s office closed.

Chris Morley, Northern & Midlands organiser, said: “A small but extremely dedicated and motivated editorial team at the Nuneaton News has served the borough faithfully for many years. But within less than a year of Trinity Mirror’s takeover of Local World, this great asset to the community, with its distinctive and original coverage will be broken up and yet one more of the UK’s daily publications will be no more.

“Staff have been left heartbroken and distraught by the announcement and say it felt like a bereavement. They live in the town and have worked on the News for more than a decade, some having secured their first jobs in journalism there.

“I shall be meeting members next week to decide how we proceed. But given the close-knit nature of the community, I do feel Trinity Mirror needs to consult closely with its citizens and take stock of whether this is indeed the best way forward for all concerned.”

30 comments

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  • May 6, 2016 at 7:41 am
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    The Trinity Mirror Chainsaw Massacre goes on… “up to eight editorial jobs lost”. I presume HTFP doesn’t report the inevitable casualties in admin and crucial “executive” roles, but good luck to all of them too.

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  • May 6, 2016 at 8:40 am
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    The collapse of the regional press goes on and on with companies forced to turn paid for free or to merge titles in order to balance the books while the pointless quest to monetise digital site goes on. The result yet again of a policy of running one side of the busibess down while they fail to monetise another leaving both parts in chaos and disarray yet are the ones who took the divisions ever called to account? Not that I can see, resulting in more of those least to blame carrying the can while the real culprits live to wreak havoc another day

    Another day more job losses

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  • May 6, 2016 at 9:38 am
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    Is that it then? Are we now officially in full scale meltdown?
    As usual, Trinity Mirror management have told us nothing, but it would be nice to know if this new end is actually THE end.

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  • May 6, 2016 at 9:41 am
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    There once was a time in the not too distant past when Tindle would step into a situation like this and pick up the pieces in these more sedate newspaper circulation areas.
    I would imagine that the high street shops in Frome are being killed off like everywhere else by people shopping online and sky-high business rates.
    There won’t be scope for adverts in the town’s weekly any more, and I bet a hyperlocal would struggle there with high office rental charges, staff parking problems, flats hard to come by for eager young reporters fresh out of uni and keen to root out the bent coppers and corrupt councillors. Sorry, this comment needs subbing, but you get the picture!

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  • May 6, 2016 at 9:57 am
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    Slate Grey asks an urgent question and TM staff must be told what the score is as thousands of livelihoods are depending on it. One of the characteristics of these big dinosaur corporations is that they treat their own staff – especially those with the relevant skill and talent who actually fashion the products that generate profits – like the enemy within rather than valued team members. Vital information is available only to senior suits and the institutional shareholders (mainly City outfits in TM’s case), for whose benefit this entire exercise is being staged (and gross insults like the CE’s £2.3m remuneration). Local groups must consider radical action such as management buyouts if they want to survive in any form and, unfortunately, that will be a much slimmed down environment. Sorry to sound agitated, folks, but at the rate things are going there will hardly be a corporate local news presence left by the end of the year. I do urge everyone still employed, and with editorial skills, to buff up their CVs and look for alternatives, especially our younger colleagues. Good luck one and all.

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  • May 6, 2016 at 10:14 am
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    Trinity Mirror restructures newspapers the way Stalin restructures his armed forces.

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  • May 6, 2016 at 10:22 am
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    Is JP taking a breather this week?
    TM certainly seem to be outdoing them in butchery.

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  • May 6, 2016 at 10:24 am
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    I cannot see how Nuneaton will be better served after these proposes changes. The Nuneaton Telegraph is the same as the Coventry Telegraph, just a different masthead. The Coventry Telegraph used to cover everything that moved in Coventry. It is far from that now. The readers will not be fooled, and issues within the community will likely be ignored by the new newsroom as they hurry and struggle to generate generalised click-bait stories, which they do very well.

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  • May 6, 2016 at 11:09 am
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    A question must be asked of the people who decided it was a good idea to sell the Local World stable to Trinity. It seems to me that, from the very formation of Local World, the executives at the very top were simply fattening a pig for slaughter.
    I have no doubt that those same executives have now walked away with very sizeable pay offs indeed.
    Trinity is merely doing what it does best, and nobody is surprised by that, but why was an apparently successful business offered to it in the first place?

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  • May 6, 2016 at 11:36 am
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    Quite right, Worzel. I keep having to break off from reading HTFP to do some work. Sorry!

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  • May 6, 2016 at 11:37 am
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    Slate – The bosses have had us in full scale meltdown for years.
    Nobody is going to be fooled by the Nuneaton Telegraph – we simply can’t cover Nuneaton. We’ve tried and failed several times.
    We’ve got enough of a mountain to climb attempting to cover Coventry itself. If we’re honest about it, we’re not doing a good job of that!

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  • May 6, 2016 at 12:38 pm
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    User Generated Content: excellent point. I have a photocopied page from The Guardian from June last year showing LW to be in a very healthy position financially and, for all its defects, operating within its desired parameters of structural flexibility, no cumbersome legacies of printing, press, property, pension deficit or onerous debt (I think it had negotiated a new £50m facility that summer/autumn but that was a positive investment move; sub please check). But you’re right, it was all a ruse more or less to make a quick buck. LW staff (and legally they are still LW staff as it’s cheaper to get rid of them that way) have been plunged back into the old model David Montgomery ostensibly eschewed, with all the debilitating handicaps of a corporate dinosaur. In short, they (and you if you are LW) were sold down the river. Who says ethics are dead?

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  • May 6, 2016 at 1:03 pm
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    Coventry Telegraph shadow of what it once was. Now struggling to compete with free weekly.
    Local journalists have been cut 80% in last decade by Trinity Mirror and bad decisions. Their monopoly now threatens further.

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  • May 6, 2016 at 1:04 pm
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    I am scared of commenting – will I be one of the ones euthanised?

    If this makes no sense, find the ‘New Day’ editor message where she implies critics should be helped to death. Yes, really.

    Some TM’ers really have lost the plot.

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  • May 6, 2016 at 1:07 pm
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    The journalists in these papers must wonder why they are at risk of losing their jobs, while Simon Fox is safe in his – despite The New Day debacle.

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  • May 6, 2016 at 9:12 pm
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    Flossie the Sheep; JP will be back. A few years ago they said only the Scotsman and Yorkshire Post would still be daily by 2020.
    It that projection still stands, there’s a lot of culling on the agenda….

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  • May 6, 2016 at 11:20 pm
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    Trinity Mirror investing in their new acquisitions then. However I’m sure the savings will be invested into chief executive’s pay very soon (make cutbacks, run a smaller company, get paid more, the usual CEO pay scale). My thoughts are with the staff who are now facing the uncertainty that so many regional journalists have suffered over the recent few years.

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  • May 7, 2016 at 8:21 am
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    I once had the misfortune to stand in for a more senior suit at one the regular shmoozefests held by the TM/LW conglomerate.
    The object of the meeting was undermined by the grisly toll of sucking up to the suit on the next rung of the ladder.
    Getting on in the organisation was clearly more important than getting things done.
    I wasn’t surprised, having witnessed the abject police hierarchial forelock tugging at close quarters over many years.
    But at least the lads in blue can blame The Lodge for their bosscreep behaviour.

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  • May 8, 2016 at 7:22 pm
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    Hmmmm – some interesting comments here, once you removed the axe grinding going on. To Off Spin though – struggling to compete with a free weekly? I don’t think anyone in Coventry apart from you sees it that way. One can only assume you work for said weekly….

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  • May 9, 2016 at 9:36 am
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    Should we be expecting more from the NUJ over this? The usual quotes of “kick in the teeth” and “staff are heartbroken” have been bandied about, but is it planning anything pro-active? What about consulting members over work-to-rule? It may be an empty threat, but it might make people sit up and take notice. As it stands, staff are lame ducks waiting for the next round of culls to take place.

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  • May 9, 2016 at 10:00 am
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    Has HTFP got the latest TM story broken on BBC Online yesterday? “Staff at the Swansea-based South Wales Evening Post have been told two photographers, a sports reporter and a sub-editor will lose their jobs.” Surprised not to see it here today – or are HTFP readers getting tired of the endless TM redundancies? You can almost certainly expect more this week.

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  • May 9, 2016 at 10:09 am
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    It’s in the fourth par of the story you are currently commenting on.

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  • May 9, 2016 at 10:23 am
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    Yep, word-blindness strikes again – sorry, Paul. Anyway, stay near your keyboard as there’s plenty more coming from that direction this week.

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  • May 9, 2016 at 10:56 am
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    overthehill.
    Can you or someone with a lot more biz nous than me explain how a media company with a real-world share price of under a penny a share (JP) can stay in business?
    It would be very interesting to know.

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  • May 9, 2016 at 8:25 pm
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    Who else remembers when Stanley Clarke would visit his empire in his chauffeur driven motor? Happy days.

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