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Reach job cuts: More than 250 journalists under consultation says union

chris-morleyMore than 250 journalists are to enter a redundancy consultation process as a result of a regional publisher’s cuts plan, with more than 100 editorial jobs set to go.

HTFP reported this morning that Reach plc is planning to shed 200 jobs across its divisions due to what it has called “unprecedented cost and inflationary pressures”.

It has now emerged that just over half – 102 – of the jobs set to be lost will be in editorial roles.

In a statement, the National Union of Journalists says 253 editorial staff have been placed at risk of redundancy, meaning they will now have to compete for the roles which will remain at the end of the process.

The union has also claimed Reach has withdrawn more than 100 out of around 280 existing job vacancies.

The company has yet to confirm any further details on which areas of the business will be affected.

Reach NUJ national coordinator Chris Morley, pictured, said: “Reach’s announcement of big job cuts – on top of the shedding of journalists’ roles around the group over the last few months of 2022 – has come as a grim and unwelcome start to the new year.

“We are today urgently seeking more clarity on these proposals and where the company thinks it can make cuts without harming its core business.

“Our members are clear that for the company to succeed, it must protect the creation of quality journalism and original content and that means limiting as much as possible any cuts to editorial staffing.

“We will be listening to our members and reps and digesting today’s announcements fully in the coming days as we engage with the company as closely as possible in the consultation process to try to avoid and mitigate the worst impacts on our members.”

The decision to cut jobs was announced this morning by Reach chief executive Jim Mullen alongside a trading update, which revealed the group is aiming to make £30m of cost savings during 2023.

The publisher says it aims to make the savings through “simplification of central support functions, supply chain efficiencies in print and distribution, and accelerated removal of editorial duplication”.

A Reach spokesperson told HTFP: “We expect the macroeconomic climate to remain challenging in 2023 and have therefore taken decisive action, putting a comprehensive cost reduction plan in place.

“While this regrettably includes around 200 redundancies, in addition to removing a number of open vacancies, this early action will allow us to protect our organisation and ensure we continue to deliver on our Customer Value Strategy.

“We will continue to review all aspects of our ongoing strategic transformation to ensure we are well placed to benefit once industry trends return to more normalised levels of activity.”