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Journalists unsure of next move as daily-turned-weekly’s office closes

Journalists at a daily-turned-weekly have been told their office is to close next Friday meaning they will be temporarily based at a sister title 15 miles away.

Staff at the Northamptonshire Telegraph were told verbally of the closure of its base in Kettering yesterday morning.

The paper’s lease on its Rothwell Road HQ is due to expire next year, but Johnston Press has moved staff out early for “urgent repairs”.

While no announcement on alternative premises was made to Telegraph journalists yesterday, JP has told HTFP they will now work from home or at the offices of sister title the Northampton Chronicle & Echo until a new office in Kettering is found.

The move also affects staff at the Harborough Mail, who themselves were moved to Kettering after JP closed their office in March 2014.

Around 20 people, including approximately 15 editorial staff, are thought to be affected by the announcement.

The offices of the Northamptonshire Telegraph,  on Rothwell Road, Kettering

The offices of the Northamptonshire Telegraph, on Rothwell Road, Kettering

One staff member, who did not want to be named, said: “We knew that a move was on the cards next year when the lease is up in 2017 as the office has become too large for our needs but we were told that the company would seek new accommodation in the town in advance. This has not happened.

“We have no alternative offices and have not been told where we will be working from now on. Many staff are on holiday and some who have worked here for several decades will not be able to come back again as they are not back from their holidays in time.

“The company wants the offices back to remodel them before returning them to the landlord. Apparently they have to be returned to their original state. Given the office opened in 1997, JP bosses have obviously realised this will take longer than they originally thought and are kicking us out within a week.”

The Telegraph has been based in Kettering since the 1890s.  The Rothwell Road site also currently houses bound volumes of the Telegraph and the Mail dating back 120 years, but no plans have been announced for where they will be held in future.

The staff member added: “Five years ago this was a proud evening newspaper with offices in Rushden, Wellingborough, Corby and Kettering. Staff stayed loyal when the paper was made weekly, when we saw dozens of colleagues made redundant, when our district offices closed and when our photographic team was disbanded.

“Everyone is hoping that the company will find us new offices in Kettering but, given it appears there has been absolutely no-one looking for new accommodation for us, it seems unlikely that this will happen at any time in the coming months.”

A JP spokeswoman said: “The office in Kettering is closing in order to under take some urgent repairs but the Northants Telegraph is certainly not moving out of the town.

“The lease on the current building doesn’t have long  left and it’s likely the team will eventually move – but there will an office in Kettering.”


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  • August 5, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Moan, moan, moan… Can’t you find a coffee shop, a library, a sheltered place in the park under some trees or something? Honestly, some people. Next you’ll be demanding a decent salary or career prospects. Move on, nothing to see here anymore.

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  • August 5, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    As my colleague just said its like regional press bingo with all the stock phrases
    Loyal staff
    Dozens of staff redundant,the wholesale cull of photographers,
    Once proud papers
    This is the situation across the country as one by one the bad decisions and dumbing down policies to save a few quid are coming back to haunt them and will ultimately bring the whole house of cards down

    Publishers are all looking to get out of leases and communities they once served have lost interest in them choosing to stop buying the papers and local business people choosing to advertising elsewhere.

    Shame for all those affected but this will be a recurring story throughout the year as more costs look to be made to offset damaging losses

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  • August 5, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    The ET was once a great paper and I’m proud to say I started my career there as a trainee reporter many years ago. We worked hard but learned such a lot. My first editor was ‘Mr Howe’. Apparently his first name was Ron but we never got to call him that! The head office was in Dryland Street, Kettering and it was once a Victorian workhouse. During my time there we moved to a new ‘factory’ unit on the edge of town. Other editors I worked for at the paper included John Parker, Paul Bach and Ron Hunt – all very good. We did indeed have thriving district offices and I had spells at two of them, Corby and Wellingborough. We also produced an amazing Saturday sports Pink ‘Un. Happy days indeed. Then came JP! Long after my time there, thank goodness. In those days we were part of Emap (East Midland Allied Press). Obviously times have changed dramatically in our industry and I fully accept the industry has had to change to meet the new challenges. But I’m afraid I don’t believe that in many instances (especially at JP) the right things have been done. The Telegraph hasn’t been at its current base for that long and it’s a modern building (close to the crematorium). It must be yet another unsettling time for the present staff. I didn’t know the poor old Harborough Mail is now produced from Kettering. That surely can’t have been a very smart move. Enough nostalgia! Good luck for the future to those working at the Telegraph and Mail now.

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  • August 9, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Will somebody, anybody, please buy the Northern Ireland JP papers. Whoever you are you couldn’t make a bigger mess. The only way is up!

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