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County news site to be based off-patch amid closure of newsrooms

A county-wide news website is set to be based off-patch amid plans by its publisher to close two offices.

Reach plc has confirmed the closure of its Truro and Exeter newsrooms, where its Cornwall Live and Devon Live sites are based respectively.

Print titles affected include The Cornishman, Cornish Guardian, West Briton, Exeter Express & Echo, Torquay Herald Express, North Devon Journal and Mid Devon Gazette.

Journalists on the affected titles will now either work remotely, from Reach’s Plymouth hub or hot desk in shared working spaces.

Reach plc's Exeter office

Reach plc’s Exeter office

No jobs have been lost as a result of the move, while two new senior editorial posts will be created in Plymouth.

By road, Plymouth is 46 miles from Exeter and 55 miles from Torquay.

HTFP reported last June how two staff working at Reach’s Cornwall titles, and three working in Exeter, were transferred to Plymouth following the creation of the company’s “regional content hub” there.

Three months later we covered the closure of the Herald Express office.

Reach plc has been approached for a comment.

6 comments

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  • November 26, 2019 at 4:37 pm
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    The very fact that you use the phrase “off patch” indicates what a ridiculous and insulting move this is. A local newspaper – even if it isn’t paper any more – should be based in its patch. And unless I’m reading this story wrong, this means Cornwall has no local news coverage left. Treating it like a suburb of Devon won’t go down well there.

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  • November 27, 2019 at 11:14 am
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    Reach must keep doing this to maintain profits while it awaits for millions to come in from the web that will replace the money lost from print advertising.

    If that doesn’t happen – and soon – then they will run into real financial problems. There are only so many offices they can close down, only so many senior staff they can lose.

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  • November 27, 2019 at 12:37 pm
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    @Percy
    This is exactly the way Archant went; closing offices, retreating from towns, staff remote working and hot desking, even shutting the print centre and making almost 100 staff redundant then flogging off their head office and renting a floor back.
    All done in an effort to cut costs and reduce heavy losses so let’s hope the total focus on digital works and their ad reps can make it pay, even after two decades of trying and failing.

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  • November 27, 2019 at 2:50 pm
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    Seems like they have found a way to avoid paying redundancy, move the job a 2 hour drive and they will just hand their notice in!

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  • November 27, 2019 at 3:56 pm
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    Yep dejavu @DaveS

    I’m told Norwich print staff were offered roles in Hertfordshire, around 200 miles/ 4 hour round trip

    “ the offer’s there”

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  • November 28, 2019 at 2:10 pm
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    “Hub’ll, Hub’ll bring toil and trouble ” with apologies to Bill.

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