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Three jobs at risk in production hub move as weekly office closes

Journalists at a group of weeklies are set to move more than 20 miles away as a result of their office closing, with three production jobs under threat in the same region.

Staff at Trinity Mirror-owned Mid Somerset News & Media have been informed of proposals to shut their Wells office, with all staff being moved to the home of the Western Gazette, at the Yeovil Innovation Centre.

The Wells Journal, one of the six titles affected, has had an office in the town since its foundation in 1851

In a separate move, the company has also entered a consultation with three journalists based in Bath after announcing plans to create a Somerset production hub in Yeovil.

Titles affected by the office closure include the Wells Journal, Central Somerset Gazette, Shepton Mallet Journal, Cheddar Valley Gazette, Frome Standard and Somerset Guardian.

The Frome Standard’s own town centre office closed in May, with the staff based there relocated to Wells.


The new base at Yeovil Information Centre

According to Google Maps, the 22 miles between Wells and Yeovil represents a 40 minute journey without traffic disruptions.

The distance between Bath and Yeovil is 38 miles, and takes more than an hour by car.

A statement from Trinity Mirror reads: “We have today announced proposals to close our Wells office and move staff here to our bigger base in Yeovil.

“Separately, we are also consolidating the news print production unit in Somerset, with plans for all staff to be based in Yeovil. This will see three roles move from Bath to Yeovil and staff affected by this have entered a period of consultation.

“We are operating in a challenging environment and these changes are necessary in order to ensure a sustainable future and to continue serving local audiences.”

In June, Trinity Mirror merged the websites of its eight Somerset titles into a single online platform called Somerset Live.

The announcement was made on Tuesday, the same day that Bede MacGowan, who edited the six titles, was due to leave the company.

Bede is taking up a new role as online editor with Select Science, a global online publisher working with scientists and manufacturers across the world to “make the future healthier.”

The currents Mid Somerset News and Media office in Wells which is closing.

The current Mid Somerset News and Media office in Wells which is closing.



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  • November 17, 2016 at 11:48 am

    The curse of TM oils its way from Kent to Somerset! No doubt some stuffed shirt – the brands editor perchance – will trot out some old pony about the dawn of a new era in Yeovil, where innovative, market-leading applications that embrace an expanding range of virtual and non-virtual news platforms come together in perfect harmony within the bounds of challenging financial constraints… well, you get the idea. In short, brace yourselves for a lot of stories about Canterbury in the Wells paper…

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  • November 17, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Can I really be bothered to do this twice in one day? Does anyone listen and do they care if they do?

    OK, shortform: closing local offices=loss of contact with the community the product serves=lack of confidence in the product by the community, who don’t want to read stories about things 50 miles away=less people buying the product=the product’s decline as people stop buying it in droves=talented journalists stacking shelves in Tescos. And I don’t care what platform you’re talking about, print or online. Now I’ll get my coat.

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  • November 17, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    This means, I believe, in moving to the Innovation Centre they are renting space from South Somerset District Council alongside their ‘big brother’- The Western Gazette.

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  • November 17, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Hub’ll bubble, toil and trouble.

    Ask anyone working for…..anyone with a news hub. They don’t work for readers, just accountants.

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  • November 17, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    This story reminds me of another comment recently on HTFP from a JP hack or hackette who described the effect producing a “local” paper well off patch had on its content quality. No soul. Be warned.

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