An MP has urged Trinity Mirror to pause plans to cut jobs and move production of a weekly newspaper more than 30 miles away.
Three out of five Bugle staff are at risk of redundancy, including editor John Butterworth, while editorial production of the paper would move 32 miles away to Tamworth under the proposals.
HTFP reported on Thursday that John is planning to put his own alternative proposals forward to the company which would keep the Bugle’s Dudley office open.
Said Ian of Trinity Mirror’s plans: “The Bugle is a much loved local institution that I’ve been reading for over 30 years.
“It reaches a million people and does a brilliant job highlighting all that’s great about the Black Country and our history in triggering the industrial revolution and changing the whole of the world.
“It’s the Black Country Bugle for God’s sake. How could it be produced thirty-odd miles away in Tamworth. It is a ridiculous idea and I am sure local MPs will want to fight it all the way.
“I want Trinity Mirror to put its plans on pause so we can look at alternative plans to save jobs and keep the paper in the heart of the Black Country where it belongs.”
The Bugle specialises in the industrial heritage and social history of the Black Country’s four boroughs – Dudley, Sandwell, Wolverhampton and Walsall – and the National Union of Journalists has challenged TM to sell the paper.
John previously told HTFP he was in consultation discussing alternative ideas to the redundancy plan “for the sake of the Bugle and its staff.”
On Friday, he said: “Senior management have advised me not to make any comment on any stories on the Bugle while the discussions are ongoing about the future of the Bugle.”
Under TM’s proposals, the Bugle will fall under the portfolio of Gary Phelps, who already runs seven weekly titles across the West Midlands from his base in Tamworth, while the paper’s two remaining staff will work remotely.
John, a journalist of 44 years, was awarded the MBE for services to journalism and charity in 2008.
His departure would bring to seven the number of ex-Local World editors to leave the business in the current round of restructures.
Trinity Mirror has been approached for a comment.