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Jobs to go as ad production outsourced to fellow publisher

CN GroupAn independent publisher is set to outsource its advertisement production function to another regional press group with the loss of 14 jobs.

The CN Group has announced the move which will see the transfer of the Carlisle-based service to the Wolverhampton-based Midland News Association.

The CN Group, which publishes daily titles the News & Star and North West Evening Mail, says it believes the future needs of its customers will be better met by the “larger, more flexible set up” at the MNA, which publishes the Shropshire Star and the Express & Star, Wolverhampton.

CN says it anticipates the work being fully outsourced by Friday 10 March, but added “the decision has not been taken lightly or without an understanding of its impact on our people”.

An announcement to staff by chief executive Miller Hogg, which has been seen by HTFP, reads: “The requirements of our commercial customers are both changing and fluctuating as they look to more diverse advertising channels e.g. social content marketing, video, events and newsletters, in addition to print.

“Customer service is at the heart of what we do and we must continue to be able to meet this customer demand in to the future. Therefore, a review of our ad production service has been undertaken and a decision has been made to outsource the service to the Midland News Association (MNA) based in Wolverhampton.”

It continues: “We believe the future needs of our customers are better met with the larger, more flexible set up that the MNA can bring. A cost saving is also delivered through this project.

“Whilst there is a sound business reason, this is a very difficult decision from a people point of view and has not been taken lightly. Our current team of 14, based at Carlisle, have provided an excellent service over the years.

“This change has been announced to them today, and I’m sure you’ll understand this is a difficult time for them as they digest this news and we consult with them. Please be considerate of your colleagues.

“There is a staged roll out plan across our centres as we enter in to a transition period and start working with the MNA. Full training will be provided to all sales teams.”

Graeme Clifford, the managing director who oversees MNA’s print operation, said: “The MNA will deliver a first class service to CN Group and its commercial customers. We will work with our new partners throughout the transition period to ensure the move is a success.”

The announcement comes days after CN’s digital strategy chief Nick Turner was made redundant by the company after 25 years.