AddThis SmartLayers

Newspaper set to lose office weeks after editor made redundant

Weekly newspaper staff who recently lost their editor to redundancy are now set to lose their office too.

Journalists at the Herts & Essex Observer will move out of their Bishop’s Stortford office as part of changes made by publisher Trinity Mirror.

The move will see five members of staff based 13 miles away in Hertford, at the base of the Hertfordshire Mercury.

HTFP reported last month how Observer editor Paul Winspear had been made redundant after almost 10 years in charge of the newspaper.

On the same day, news editor Sinead Holland also finished after being made redundant in the restructure by TM, which saw a total of 12 jobs put at risk across the East of England.

No jobs are at risk as a result of the office move proposal.

According to Bishop’s Stortford Tourist Information Centre, the Observer’s office, on North Street, in the town, had been the paper’s home since its foundation in the 1860s.

Herts Observer

The building itself, pictured above, is believed to have stood since the 1550s.

A Trinity Mirror spokesperson said: “We have confirmed with our five staff based in Bishop’s Stortford that we propose closing that office with them moving to the new Hertford office with the rest of the Herts and Essex team.

“There will be no redundancies and no other editorial impact or changes of this proposal.”


You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • August 10, 2016 at 10:12 am

    How sad. When I joined in 2008 (and even then, concerns abounded over recent drops in staffing levels) we had four reporters, a news editor, an editorial assistant, a deputy editor and editor who subbed and two receptionists with available cover for absences.

    On top of that, we had a sports editor, sports reporter and five photographers as shared resources with just two other sister weeklies, plus a hot desk where ad sales reps would spend a few hours a week while doing their rounds.

    Needless to say, the rot had well and truly set in by the time I left the paper four-and-a-half years later. I recall being chained to my desk, never meeting people, never going out on patch, rarely covering council or court and generally hating it. I now work for a small independent title and, for all its quirks and foibles, at least we’re still an active presence in our circulation area.

    Trinity Mirror, like Local World before it and Iliffe before even that, has ripped the heart out of a once-brilliant paper and sold some incredibly talented reporters and photographers down the river for a few extra bob. It’s nothing short of heartbreaking and there aren’t enough words to describe how sad and angry I feel about it.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(13)
  • August 10, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    So Trinity get it wrong again. Not the closure of this building as this makes business sense and should have been closed years ago to save costs. Do so few staff really need a 4 story office to rattle around in. The days of all under one roof publishing has long gone as everything gets centralised, so the space isn’t required. They get it wrong by removing first the editorial mainstay then the high street presence. At least we can look at the old pictures online, just need to navigate away from the survey and pop up ads.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(1)
  • August 10, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    So another editor is made redundant. Who is legally responsible now for every word in the paper? The junior accounts clerk with responsibility for what used to be called editorial?

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(1)