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Publisher axes journalism roles due to coronavirus impact

HNM logoAn independent publisher has confirmed it is cutting journalism jobs – with a fall in  entertainment and tourism advertising being cited as the reason for the move.

Highland News and Media is making “a small number of redundancies” in its editorial department due to the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The company publishes 17 weekly newspapers across northern Scotland, including the Inverness Courier, Highland News and John O’Groat Journal,

HTFP understands three editorial roles will be lost as a result of the restructure.

HNM publisher Steve Barron said: “In common with the rest of the industry, Highland News and Media have encountered extremely challenging market conditions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“A huge amount has already been done to significantly reduce the company’s cost base, but the loss of entertainment and tourism advertising revenue in particular, has meant that very regrettably a small number of redundancies have had to be proposed in order to create a sustainable business model for the future.

“Management believe that, coupled with the considerable work that has been carried out to reduce non-people-related costs, this will allow the business to remain viable and have a sustainable future.”

The full list of HNM titles is: the Inverness Courier, Highland News, Caithness Courier, John O’Groat Journal, Northern Times, Rossshire Journal, North Star, Strathspey and Badenoch Herald, Forres Gazette, Northern Scot, Banffshire Journal, Banffshire Advertiser, Banffshire Herald, Huntly Express, Ellon Advertiser, Inverurie Advertiser and Turriff Advertiser.

The company was formerly known as Scottish Provincial Press before briefly going into adminstration at the end of last year.

It was then bought out by a new joint venture involving Edward Iliffe, proprietor of the Iliffe Media Group, and Peter Fowler, the majority shareholder in SPP.

It was the duo’s second such venture in the space of a few months, having previously purchased the Newbury News from its former owners.

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