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Publisher to axe up to 30 roles in digital plan which will also create new jobs

Jeremy CliffordUp to 30 editorial roles are set to be made redundant in a regional publisher’s push to create more digitally-focused content which will also see the creation of nine new jobs.

JPIMedia has today revealed plans to cut between 20 and 30 jobs from its Scottish small brands, advanced content hubs, community sport team and design hub operations.

The move has been made as the company prepares to create a 24-strong central digital content team, which will include units focused on digital graphics, video production and producing lifestyle content for its major websites.

This will involve the creation of nine new roles which the company says will be “based on our learnings about engagement, subscriptions, and search-driven content.”

The changes were revealed in a message sent to staff by JPIMedia editor-in-chief Jeremy Clifford this morning.

Jeremy, pictured, said: “Over the past few months we have learned much about the types of content that engage our readers and we intend to continue to shift our focus to producing more content that appeals to our digital readership – particularly for our biggest brands.

“What we have learned about the value of our digital content has reinforced our belief in our digital strategy and transformation.

“During this time we have also changed the type and range of content produced by our advanced community news and sports teams. We have significantly reduced the number of pages produced by the central design team during the lockdown.

“While we believe there has been minimal impact on the quality of our titles as a result, we do intend to reintroduce some elements of design that were previously provided. We also want to provide more digital and commercial services by transferring a small number of design roles into this team.

“It is unlikely we will see any reinstatement of pages that were removed from our products because of reduced activity levels in the community and advertising volumes. This gives us the opportunity to reassess the content we produce for all our titles.

“Unfortunately, this means we will need fewer people to work on them and we therefore intend to reduce the number of roles in the community and design teams – specifically in the Scottish small brands, the advanced content hubs, community sport and the design hub.

“Whilst it is our intention to redeploy as many people as possible into the central unit, regrettably we anticipate an overall reduction of between 20 and 30 roles from these teams.”

A voluntary redundancy process has been opened today for staff potentially impacted by the move, while the company will also consider requests for reductions in hours.

Jeremy added:”I am sorry this is difficult news for people who have worked so hard for our company during what has already been a very challenging year.

“The economic circumstances and changes to the ways in which our readers access content mean we need to respond to those challenges to ensure the continuing viability of our business.”

JPIMedia said it was not yet able to reveal the locations of where either the roles affected by the redundancy plan were based, or where the new roles would be based, when approached by HTFP.