Around 14 editorial jobs are set to be lost at Trinity Mirror’s newly acquired titles in the South-West of England with 13 websites being merged into three.
A group of former Local World titles in Bristol, Gloucestershire and Somerset will see their online channels consolidated into three new digital offerings, while the Bristol Post and Western Daily Press will move to a single production structure.
The websites of eight weekly newspapers in Somerset will be condensed into a new offering called Somerset Live, while those of the Gloucestershire Echo, Stroud Life and Gloucester Citizen will be merged to form Gloucestershire Live.
And the Daily Press site will be incorporated into that of the Post, in line with a similar switch made in February which saw the Western Morning News’s website shut down and merged with the Plymouth Herald’s.
Trinity Mirror says some new digital roles will be created, but the changes will see a net reduction of approximately 14 roles in the region, with staff affected now in a formal consultation period.
The eight titles affected in Somerset are the Central Somerset Gazette, Cheddar Valley Gazette, Frome Standard, Somerset Guardian, Wells Journal, Western Gazette, North Somerset Mercury and Shepton Mallet Journal.
A Trinity Mirror spokesperson said: “Somerset Live and Gloucestershire Live will focus on rolling local news, weather, traffic, what’s on and lifestyle and much more.
“We will be providing the same hyperlocal news, and more, on a bigger, better and more accessible digital platform, as we aim to grow a local and engaged audience.
“This template has worked well at Trinity Mirror titles across other areas of the UK, where local readers are increasingly coming to our platforms first for their news and showing loyalty to our strong brands.”
The company said the move was in line with its approach of creating regional digital hubs with localised news and information sections.
The latest proposals follow last week’s announcement of a “digital-first” restructure at former Local World titles in Devon, which will see up to eight editorial jobs lost.
The move will see the websites of the Exeter Express & Echo and the Mid Devon Gazette series merge under the former’s brand.
The company has also announced the departures of three former Local World editors – Paul Brackley, of the Cambridge News, the Leicester Mercury’s Kevin Booth and the Derby Telegraph’s Neil White – over the past 10 days.
It is understood that at least one editor role could be at risk as a result of the proposed South West changes, but Trinity Mirror has refused to confirm this.