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Journalists begin ‘phased return’ to offices but up to 100 sales staff face axe

newjpimediaJournalists at a regional publisher have begun a “phased return” to their offices – but the company is set to make up to 100 sales staff redundant due to the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

Some editorial staff working for JPIMedia in Leeds and Sheffield are now back in the office amid what is understood to be a planned phased transition to similar arrangements elsewhere.

However, the company has also confirmed it is in consultation with sales staff after being given “no option” but to restructure its local commercial operations due to advertising being affected by the pandemic.

A formal consultation process with at-risk staff is now ongoing.

A JPIMedia spokesman told HTFP: “Many businesses have closed as a result of this pandemic and we have seen a fundamental change in the way those that remain choose to advertise and spend their advertising budgets.

“As a result, we have found ourselves facing an unprecedented material decline in revenue, which the business has tried to address through temporary pay cuts and by utilising the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

“Unfortunately, as we look forward, advertising activity levels continue to be severely affected across all categories, and a return to pre-Covid levels will take some time.

“Having considered all possibilities, we have no option but to look to restructure a number of our local commercial operations, particularly local field sales, Media Sales Centre and some sale support functions with a view to potentially reducing around 100 positions.

“The company launched a formal consultation process to this effect on 10 July and expect this to last for a period of approximately 30 days.”

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