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JPIMedia to close eight newspaper offices with 20 more set to relocate

A regional publisher is to close eight newspaper offices across the country with 34 members of staff set to work from home or from other offices nearby.

JPIMedia chief executive David King announced the closures to staff this afternoon in a move which could also see journalists in 20 other locations move to new headquarters.

The offices set to close are Aylesbury, Banbury, Brighton, Cumbernauld, Horncastle, Kenilworth, Kettering and Luton.

JPIMedia staff currently working in those locations will either move to other premises owned by the company nearby, or switch to “flexible working” from home or other remote locations.

Following a review by the company’s property team and senior managers, JPI is also seeking to relocate staff to new premises in 20 other offices.

These are Alnwick, Berwick, Blackpool, Burnley, Chesterfield, Chichester, Eastbourne, Grangemouth, Halifax, Horsham, Mansfield, Milton Keynes, Portsmouth, Scarborough, Selkirk, South Shields, Wakefield, Wigan and Worthing.

Queensbury House, Brighton, where JPI currently has an office

Queensbury House, Brighton, where JPIMedia title the Brighton and Hove Independent currently has an office

HTFP understands sites in Havant and Port Solent are being considered as potential new homes for Portsmouth daily The News.

New headquarters for staff working in Sunderland, Belfast and Peterborough have already been found according to Dave’s announcement, which has been seen by HTFP.

Harrogate Advertiser journalists also moved into a new home in the Yorkshire town on 1 March, after briefly relocating to Leeds following the paper’s departure from its previous office.

Nineteen other offices in the company’s portfolio are unaffected by the changes.

In his message to staff, Dave wrote: “Following my message on the review of JPIMedia’s estate strategy earlier this year, I wanted to take the opportunity to update you on our progress to date.

“Our property team in conjunction with senior managers have now completed the review of our property requirements to ensure we have the right office spaces and the ability to develop agile working across the business.

“In my previous message, I outlined a number of sites where we will remain and those that we had already commenced looking at space requirements.

“We have sourced alternative sites for those previously mentioned namely Sunderland, Belfast, Peterborough. We are consolidating our space in Leeds.”

He added: “With growing numbers of people already working from home we recognise the many benefits of agile working practices to both the business and our employees.

“By aligning agile working with the review of our property portfolio, it will help us to retain jobs and sustain titles for the future.”


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  • March 26, 2019 at 9:59 am

    I guess it doesn’t matter where you are based when your circulation has tanked, keep going with the web first policy, that’s working out well for you!!

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  • March 26, 2019 at 10:34 am

    Sadly, this could be the death knell for some of the JPI papers if they they are relocated too far from their core patch. This has already happened in the case of many old JP papers, with disastrous results for sales and quality of coverage and some sales plunging to about 10-15 per cent of peak.
    I can see some papers being cobbled together 40 miles from their “patch” if JPI chooses to regionalise its offices. Coverage and proper news gathering in some big towns is already desperately thin, and I hope this does not worsen the decline.
    But it is hard to see where JPI goes now. Can’t sell its sub-standard papers in any meaningful numbers and can’t make proper money on its pretty awful websites. I feel sorry for its hard-working staff. They waved goodbye to JP only to see it reincarnated in JPI.

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  • March 26, 2019 at 11:54 am

    I don’t see any long-term plan from JPI other than to maximise profits as they transition out of traditional newspapers.

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  • March 26, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    With all the main ageing publishers suffering staggering ABC copy sale losses and with local advertising revenues at their worst ever levels, set against high overheads will necessitate big cost savings,so announcements of office closures by all the main groups will become more frequent
    Like it or not the closure of district offices will always be seen by the community as of them being abandoned and copy sales will suffer, expecting ‘agile workers’ ( ridiculous name ) to adequately cover the area and grow community relationships is farcical,as well as being soul destroying for the individuals concerned and is not the anwer
    Shorty term gain= long term pain

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  • March 26, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    I agree
    Any publisher closing branch offices is giving out a very loud and clear signal to local people that they’re no longer interested in investing in the community nor are they able to provide an adequate hyper local news service anywhere near as immediate, relevant or as comprehensive as that which can be found on social media for free so why should they expect local people to buy the papers or advertise to so few people?

    It’s inevitable papers in time will close, producing them when so few people are buying copies is not viable

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  • March 26, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    I recall one JP smoothie telling a gullible local business group how JP backed local business. He announced the closure of the town’s local paper office soon afterwards. Double talk indeed. JPI seem to be following same pattern.

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  • March 26, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    I would honestly not be surprised to see them start unloading a few titles in the near future. Apart from the i I have a feeling anything will be for sale at the right price especially now they’ve got rid of some of the other burdens.

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  • March 26, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    There has been a grim inevitability about all this and the sad saga will only get worse in terms of title closures and some poorly performing dailies like the Blackpool Gazette becoming a weekly.
    One interesting but rarely raised point about working from home…
    If you inform your home and contents insurer that you work from home, your premium is liable to rise.
    But then again JPI could always help you out financially with that additional expense (source Aesops Fables).

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  • March 26, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Northenders poin anout ‘agile Workers’ is valid, if you’re one of the poor sods charged with ( ahem) aligning your agile working options make sure you are recompensed fully as it’s not quite as simple as just opening your laptop and making calls, you’ll incur costs

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  • March 26, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    @ Russ. Having been a freelance you can offset your tax liability by claiming certain allowances for heat and other costs and for setting aside part of your home for work purposes. Bu8t that is beside the point in that many people are not suited to working on their own and need to be with others. One can only imagine that JPI may be hoping that if people give up working from home then they can justify any other closure of a once viable newspaper. They are not interested in communities and the respect that a local paper once had. Of course you need to make money to keep a paper going. But some of those at the top give the impression that if you can’t sell a tin of baked beans (masquerading as a paper) then let’s call the tin a tin of tomatoes or whatever. With people like that at the top the result will be more closures but will they blame themselves. Oh no – it is every odd else’s fault. One of the reasons customers aren’t buying paper is not just because of internet etc but because local papers have so few staff they cannot cover the stories properly. So the quality goes down. So the readership goes down. Anyone else for the roundabout to the cup de sac.

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  • March 27, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Agile workers. Only gymnasts need apply for these positions.

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