Job cuts are set to be made at a series of newspapers recently bought by Newsquest – but the company says it plans to invest in more reporters at the same titles.
CN Group staff have been invited to apply for voluntary redundancy by the regional publisher, which says the scheme is part of a move to put the affected papers on a “more sustainable footing”.
Editorial staff with more than two years’ service have been invited to apply along with other departments, but it is “highly unlikely” anyone in a reporting role will have their application accepted.
Newsquest says it intends to upgrade the Carlisle-based CN’s technology infrastructure and primary systems in editorial, advertising, finance and newspaper sales – adding it also plans to invest in reporting and sales roles.
Jonathan Lee, managing director at CN Group, said: “These investments in our systems will make our business more efficient and streamline the way we work. They will allow us to collaborate more effectively with our new colleagues elsewhere in Newsquest and offer much greater resilience.
“As a result of the more efficient workflows, we expect that we will require fewer staff overall so I am inviting any current CN Group employees with more than two years’ service to consider volunteering for redundancy.
“I must point out that is it highly unlikely that we would accept voluntary redundancy from anyone in a reporting role in editorial or a sales role in advertising. This is because we plan to invest in these areas of the business rather than seek to reduce resources there.”
The company has declined to provide an estimate as to how many roles it is aiming to cut through scheme, and HTFP understands there is no specific target.
Last month, following the completion of its takeover of the CN Group, Newsquest announced plans to close the company’s Carlisle printing press, putting 34 jobs at risk.
Titles published by CN include Barrow-based daily The Mail and the Carlisle News & Star, as well as weeklies the Cumberland News, Hexham Courant, Workington Times & Star, Whitehaven News and the Advertiser, which serves southern Cumbria.
A Newsquest spokesman said: “These investments support our efforts to put the CN Group business on a more sustainable footing and improve the company’s workflows.
“It is likely that the systems will create efficiencies and therefore we believe it makes sense to offer staff the option of voluntary redundancy today, helping us to plan for the future.”