At least four newsroom managers have been moved into frontline reporting roles in a restructure which will see journalists focus on digital content.
JPIMedia has introduced the restructure across its North Midlands and South Yorkshire division following an earlier pilot project at its North-East titles.
Although no jobs have been lost, it is understoood that at least four managers who unsuccessfully applied for equivalent roles in the new set-up have been invited to apply for reporter roles instead.
At the same time, a number of new managerial positions have been created, with responsibilities across the whole division, which includes Sheffield daily The Star and weekly titles in South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
Phil Bramley, hitherto group editor of the Derbyshire Times, Mansfield Chad, Worksop Guardian and other Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire weeklies, becomes head of audience, while Julia Rodgerson, head of content at The Star, take on the same role on a division-wide basis.
Dan Windham, currently assistant digital content editor at Sheffield daily The Star, is made live editor, while Louise Cooper, digital editor for the Chad and Derbyshire Times, becomes a specialist editor along with Star reporter Lee Peace.
A new role of print and curation editor has also been created, with specific responsibility for print titles across the division, although an appointment to this position has yet to be made.
Nancy Fielder, editor of Sheffield daily The Star, will now have overall editorial responsibility for all the North Midlands and South Yorkshire newsbrands.
The restructure is part of JPIMedia’s ‘Digital Acceleration’ project which has seen journalists move away from the print production process and concentrate on digital work.
Chief executive David King, pictured, revealed the new structure would now be rolled out across other regions, although the company has declined to reveal further details on where on when it will next be introduced.
In an announcement to staff last month, which has been seen by HTFP, he said: “I am pleased to announce that following the great results we have seen in the North-East during the pilot, we are now ready to start the next step in the deployment of Digital Acceleration across JPIMedia.
“The focus has been on understanding and delivering content that our most loyal users want and is paying off.
“Engagement with our content has improved significantly with page views per post up 20pc. We also grew our loyal audience by 17pc over the 90-day pilot.
“This also positions us well to grow revenues from subscriptions as we deploy paywalls across our larger titles.”
David added: “Print remains an important part of our business and the pilot. The digital first approach to content creation has not affected print circulation.
“We will start talking to our teams today about the deployment of Digital Acceleration across the NMSY region (Sheffield, and Derbyshire) with other regions to follow. We will be communicating more details about that in due course.
“I would like to thank both the programme team and the NE team for all their hard work in ensuring the pilot was a success. Please give the project teams your full support as we roll out Digital Acceleration.”
A JPIMedia spokesman said: “As part of our Digital Acceleration programme, we are in the process of introducing new roles to reflect a radically new way of running our newsrooms that has been tested successfully in our North-East region.
“The new newsroom structure allows our journalists at all levels to focus more on digital story telling and develop new skills essential to helping to transform our business.
“We are still talking to our staff about the structure and the role they will play within it, so while this is taking place it is inappropriate for us to comment further.”