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Five editorial jobs at risk in cuts affecting sister dailies

Five journalism jobs including an editor role are set to be made redundant as part of cutbacks affecting three sister dailies.

Newsquest has confirmed that jobs are under threat at its titles on the south coast which include the Southern Daily Echo, Bournemouth Echo and Dorset Echo.

Proposals include merging the editorships of Hampshire Living and Dorset Living magazines, which are based in Bournemouth, into a single group magazine writer role, while two print content manager posts also based at the Bournemouth Echo are set to be combined into a single position.

Two what’s on writer roles, based in Bournemouth and the Dorset Echo’s office in Weymouth, will be merged under the plans, while a Bournemouth-based head of images role has also been placed at risk of redundancy.

The Bournemouth Echo's office

The Bournemouth Echo’s office

The proposals, which follow the loss of around 10 journalism roles in Southampton and Bournemouth earlier this year due to the creation of a new editorial hub covering both titles, were set out in an email to staff which has been seen by HTFP.

In it, the company said that the proposed scrapping of the head of images post was due to “increased use of contributed images and photographs taken by reporters”, while the merger of the print content manager posts was due to an “increasing use of the write to shape system by reporters”.

Under the proposals, Bill Browne, currently publisher and editor-in-chief of the Basingstoke Gazette, Salisbury Journal and Andover Advertiser, will take on the editorial management of the Romsey Advertiser and Hampshire Chronicle from Southern Daily Echo boss Gordon Sutter.

This will entail the loss of a sports reporter role across the daily titles, with responsibility for sport coverage on the Advertiser and Chronicle to be covered from within the five weekly titles’ existing resources.

A Newsquest spokesman said: “The environment for news publishers remains very challenging, given in particular the very substantial loss of revenue to other digital advertising platforms.

“At Newsquest we are focused on ensuring that news brands have a sustainable future.

“We continue to restructure how we operate to ensure we work as efficiently as possible across the business.

“Whilst these potential redundancies are regrettable, it means we can continue to invest in quality journalism for many years to come.”

Last week HTFP revealed compulsory redundancies have been threatened at Newsquest’s Glasgow-based titles The Herald and The Herald on Sunday unless “a number” of journalists volunteered to leave the business.

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7 comments

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  • November 19, 2019 at 11:38 am
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    How sad and how typical. Get set for Xmas everybody. You’re going, we’re staying! I still buy one of the weeklies every issue, but it Is a pathetic parody these days. Already the sport has one reporter ‘covering’ a vast area I.e. stuck in one office ‘curating’ submitted rubbish and recycling old stock shots. The daily is just as bad and the websites are shocking.
    I fear this is goodnight from me, and goodbye for them as they ‘continue to invest in quality journalism for many years to come!’ Best of luck to those receiving this early Christmas present.

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  • November 19, 2019 at 11:49 am
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    Without fail, Newsquest have made cuts in editorial at all centres, just before Christmas, for a number of years now. Whatever is happening at the south coast will be replicated across all NQ centres. It is a shame that the number of redundancies made nationally by NQ is not published here. All we are given is a piecemeal centre by centre breakdown.

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  • November 19, 2019 at 12:51 pm
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    Do you think there’s a stock-off the HR shelf ‘ fill in names of papers here’ template for redundancy quotes?

    The quotes/excuses/cop outs from ‘spokesman said’ in the 4 paragraphs towards the end are the pretty much identical to those given by all the other publishers announcing job cuts and redundancies, it’s an insult to those affected that those doing the axing can’t even be bothered to compose anything specific and instead choose to trot out the same old bull everyone else hides behind these days.

    In the templated local news environment we live in where originality and uniqueness has been replaced by formulaic box filling I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised.

    Good fortune to those soon to go ‘ over the wall’ in time for Christmas and into a less pressurised and more balanced work/ life world, just pray for those who remain.

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  • November 19, 2019 at 2:22 pm
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    If you do someone else’s job ( reporters taking photographs) then hopefully someone else can do yours and you will be made redundant.

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  • November 19, 2019 at 2:49 pm
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    Yes @OldSnapper
    Those who went along with the job mergers and consolidations and gladly snapped away on their iPhones thinking their jobs would be safe must be having second thoughts now.
    Likewise if you’re an ad manager who nodded and agreed when your bosses said thanks to new booking systems and online monitoring sales people should work away from the office remotely then found you has a rapidly reducing number of people to manage ,you can become surplus to requirements too.

    Remember
    You’re only a number folks so think of number one first as no one else will

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  • November 19, 2019 at 3:49 pm
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    When you hear the reason for a redundancy is given as “due to increased use of contributed images and photographs taken by reporters”, you know quality is of no importance as long as it’s cheap or free.

    Pathetic

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  • November 19, 2019 at 4:37 pm
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    Quick! Let’s get the BBC, Google, Facebook, The Government to replace the reporters while we take the profits.

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