Last week we reported that Newsquest was asking local editors to take back responsibility for writing headlines, subheads and straplines from the group’s production hubs in Newport and Weymouth.
The changes, which had been due to take effect on 4 January, were set to be made after some editors within the group claimed to be changing “80pc or more” of headlines written at the hubs.
However it has now emerged that the proposals have been shelved indefinitely and that the hubs will continue to have responsibility for headline writing.
No official company announcement has been made on the move, and Newsquest has yet to respond to HTFP’s request for a comment on the issue.
However it is understood that editors have been told verbally that the plans have been shelved and the hubs will continue to write headlines.
One Newsquest staffer told HTFP: “The official line is that the plans have been ‘postponed’ indefinitely, though there is speculation that they will not be carried out for a long time, if ever.”
It means the publisher is set to retain its current system of the hubs adding headlines after being sent pages by Newsquest titles from across the country.
The original plan came to light in an email sent to Newsquest’s regional editors and managing directors before Christmas by group production director Leighton Jones.
It said: “In order to create a more efficient workflow and address the concerns of some of you that you change 80pc or more of the headlines that are supplied, it has been decided that headlines, subheads and straplines on stories will no longer be written in the copy-editing hubs.”
“The hubs will still continue to copy-edit the rest of the content and you will see a new status of ‘Headline Req’.”
At the time, the National Union of Journalists said the proposals amounted to an admission that subbing hubs had “failed”.