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Publisher announces job cuts plan at its newest newspaper titles

Susan PerryJob cuts are set to be made at a series of newspapers recently bought by Newsquest after staff were invited to apply for voluntary redundancy.

Newsquest has launched a VR scheme for staff working the former NWN Media titles which were taken over by the regional publisher last September.

Newsquest has declined to mention how many redundancies it is aiming to make through the programme, but says all areas of the editorial department will be considered.

The plan was revealed in a memo to staff, which has been seen by HTFP, from Newsquest North Wales group editor Susan Perry, pictured.

Susan, whose appointment to the role was announced last week, said: “The Company is to consider a reduction in editorial staffing numbers, in line with the recent changes to the print portfolio and pending rollout of new editorial systems, which will significantly improve workflow.

“In the first instance, we are today commencing a voluntary redundancy programme, which will remain open until close of business on Friday 19 January 2018.”

“All areas of the editorial department will be considered however, please note that the Company reserves the right to refuse an application based on the future needs of the business.

“If we fail to receive the required number of volunteers it may be necessary to move to a compulsory selection for redundancy. If this proves to be the case, we will provide you with details of the proposed selection criteria before the selection process is initiated. If you have any questions in the meantime, please let me know.”

The opening of a voluntary redundancy scheme echoes a similar move made by Newsquest at the Isle of Wight County Press in November.

The County Press had been bought by Newsquest in July.

Since Newsquest’s takeover of NWN, the company has made redundancies in its advertisement creation department, based at Mold, with 20 roles understood to have been put at risk.

Papers in the former NWN stable include Wrexham and Flintshire daily The Leader, as well as weekly titles the Chester Standard, South Wirral Standard, Oswestry & Border Counties Advertizer, Rhyl Journal, Powys County Times, Denbighshire Free Press, Whitchurch Herald, North Wales Pioneer and North Wales Chronicle.

A Newsquest spokesman said: “As a result of introducing more efficient systems into NWN Media, we are considering voluntary redundancy applications from editorial employees who may be interested in this. This forms part of our plan to ensure NWN Media has a sustainable future.”


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  • January 9, 2018 at 9:08 am

    At least NQ are being consistent starting the year ditching staff as they left off in 2017, however this is the sentence which sums up that staff are only of value when they need them and can be dumped when they’re not:
    “…please note that the Company reserves the right to refuse an application based on the future needs of the business”
    no mention of the ‘future needs’ of the individual, also interesting to see despite the continuing shocking ad revenue performances its again only editorial staff being let go, not those responsible for ad revenues , of lack of

    my advice to those being offered voluntary redundancy is to take it as this trend of job cuts appears to show no sign of ending.

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  • January 9, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Will the last remaining person at Newsquest please turn off the light when they leave.

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  • January 9, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Those that are left in a job, and there won’t be many, will have the privilege of working for Britain’s worst-paid daily with senior reporters on £15K a year.
    Newsquest should rectify such robber baron wages but they are more likely to try and use such an extraordinarily low cost base as a template for their other sweat shops.
    Unite and mobilise!

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  • January 9, 2018 at 11:44 am

    Jazzie, no point blaming fellow workers such as the advertising staff. They try their best like staff in newsrooms but the fact is only a small proportion of the population read local newspapers today and that is why advertisers are deserting and looking for new opportunities away from newspapers and their websites, which are a very poor alternative and proven not to work for local traders – otherwise after about 10 years of trying digital would have been monetised. The majority of web income comes from the loose change of major brands such as insurance companies and the like and it’s not enough, so despite what you read from the publishers the future is bleak and those young enough should seek careers away from an industry where pay and conditions generally struggle to keep pace with unskilled jobs. Circumstances change, that’s life.

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  • January 9, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    I am afraid West Yorks Analyst is sadly right. NQ titles sales, along with other companies, have fallen through the roof compared with peak sales, in some cases now selling about10 per cent ( yes 10 per cent) of what they sold at peak. Advertisers know this. We can argue all day about why this has happened but it has and newspapers struggle to sustain themselves when some daily (morning) titles are selling 10,000 a day. Something has to give, and newspapers just keep giving.

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  • January 9, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    At least they waited until after christmas for this round.
    On the plus side, everyone I know who has left local newspapers couldn’t be happier.

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  • January 9, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Yes Dave S. I have a few friends in the trade who were sad to leave and two weeks after getting out wondered why the hell they stuck it so long (some of course had little choice but to slog it out). When I see them they seem very content.

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  • January 9, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Nobody below the age of about 90 buys ‘papers anymore. Can we therefore admit defeat and please move on? Thank you.

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  • January 9, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    It’s not a case of blaming the ad reps @westyorksanalyst, it’s purely a matter of economics, I fully agree with your point about the advertising market going and where businesses choose to advertise now which is my point as it’s clearly not in NQ papers
    my point is that there is no longer any justification in carrying large sales teams, team leaders and various level of manager when the commercial revenue simply doesn’t justify it, costs and staff numbers which are out of sync with the declining level of ad revenue being brought in no longer makes large sales advertising teams practical, the revenue platforms have collapsed yet the commercial side remain outside of the ongoing policy of job cuts and are in most cases as large as they were when business was booming

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  • January 9, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    ‘New editorial systems’ and ‘improved workflow’ means the introduction of Write To Shape (initially called Write To Fit until someone spotted the WTF acronym) and that means the end of sub-editors at NWM.

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