A regional publisher is to close all reception desks across a group of daily and weekly titles in a move which could see up to 15 jobs lost.
Reach plc has announced it plans to close receptions at the offices of the Leicester Mercury, Nottingham Post, Derby Telegraph, Stoke-on-Trent daily The Sentinel, Coventry Telegraph and Tamworth Herald.
Up to 15 full-time equivalent roles are set to be made redundant as part of the changes, which also affect support staff in Birmingham and Coventry, as well as Bristol and Blackmore Vale in the South-West of England.
In an announcement to staff, which has been seen by HTFP, Reach cited declining footfall in receptions as part of the rationale for the move.
Other reasons cited in the memo included the need for savngs across the commercial division in 2019 and the reduction in support given to other functions as processes have become digitised.
As part of the changes, a new regional customer support function will be set up that will cover Reach titles in the Midlands, Bristol and Gloucestershire.
The announcement states: “Following a business review that has been undertaken across the commercial support functions, the business is proposing to create a regional customer support function that will cover the Midlands and BGSD.
“As part of the proposed restructure, public notices will be consolidated and the requirement for manned reception desks will be changing.
“The proposal will see a reduction in headcount of 15FTE, with the Reception locations in Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Stoke, Tamworth and Coventry set to close.
“Support staff in Birmingham, Coventry, Bristol and Blackmore Vale will also be affected.”
Reach’s proposal comes after it was confirmed earlier this month that up to 41 roles could be made redundant as part of changes being made to its print production operation across England.
HTFP revealed that up to six roles are set to be lost at Reach’s seven Midlands dailies – the Birmingham Mail, Burton Mail, Coventry Telegraph, Derby Telegraph, Leicester Mercury, Nottingham Post and Stoke-on-Trent daily The Sentinel – amid plans to merge print production across the region into a single operation.
The company has since confirmed the same model is set to be introduced across the country – with potentially 41 jobs being put at risk as a result.
Reach has so far not responded to requests for comment on the reception desk proposal.