Newsquest says all six of the photographers it currently employs in Essex are under threat of redundancy as part of proposals which would see it keep “no more” than three full-time equivalent (FTE) positions in that department.
Three full-time photographers based in North Essex and one based in South Essex are at risk as part of the latest restructure, while two part-time South Essex-based photographers are also under threat.
The plans were unveiled days after the announcement that up to six other editorial jobs were under threat across the county, with Colchester Daily Gazette editor James Wills among those at risk.
Newsquest’s Essex division also publishes Basildon, Southend and Castle Point daily The Echo and 11 weekly titles.
An announcement to staff from Newsquest Essex regional editor-in-chief Chris Hatton, pictured above left, which has been seen by HTFP, reads: “The company continues to face difficult trading conditions with sustained pressure on the profitability of the business.
“The company continues to look at all functions and disciplines across the business and where appropriate implement reorganisations or consolidations of functions so as to deliver efficiencies and reduce costs.
“Due to a need to reduce costs and in a continuation of consolidation efficiencies, a review of the photographic department has been carried out and as a result the company is proposing to reduce the number of photographers across Essex to no more than three FTEs which therefore places all photographic employees at risk of redundancy with effect from 31 August 2016.”
Chris told HTFP it would be “inappropriate” to comment further now that formal period of consultation is under way.
Under the earlier set of proposals, the Gazette editor role is at risk along with two weekly editor positions, an assistant editor covering both the Gazette and the Essex County Standard, a Colchester-based content editor and a sport content manager responsible for both the Gazette and The Echo.
However, one new full-time role and one part-time role will be created, leaving a net loss of 4.4 jobs as a result.