More job cuts in Trinity Mirror’s digital drive

Trinity Mirror is to cut 49 more jobs as it continues establishing its digital Live brand. Online news covering Hull, Grimsby, Teesside, Plymouth and Cheshire will be published under the HullLive, GrimsbyLive, TeessideLive, PlymouthLive and CheshireLive brands. This follows the loss of 49 jobs announced

in February with the creation of BristolLive, StokeontrentLive, CoventryLive, DerbyshireLive, NottinghamshireLive and LeicestershireLive. Newsrooms in Bath and Burton became part of the SomersetLive and DerbyshireLive digital brands, despite Burton being in Staffordshire. The NUJ has called the cuts ‘terrible’ and is

concerned that the company is in some cases pre-selecting posts without consultation and offering former Local World journalists statutory redundancy terms only. Trinity Mirror bought Local World three years ago. Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary,

said: “Further job cuts are terrible news for our members at Trinity Mirror and will heighten concerns over the company’s strategic direction. Will these ‘Live’ brands mean anything to individual communities and towns proud of their distinct traditions,

heritage and loyalties? These job losses will add extra work and pressure on to an already-overstretched staff. “It is vital that the consultations over these

redundancies are as meaningful and transparent as possible. It is hugely disturbing that the company is carrying out a process of ‘pre-selection’ which inevitably leads to fears that the outcomes are predetermined. “Yet again, Trinity Mirror is refusing to tackle

the scourge that is redundancy terms at journalists from Local World titles. For a blue chip company to treat sections of their staff as second-class employees, being paid only statutory redundancy terms, is behaviour worthy of the most bargain basement employer.”

Deal to buy Express group goes to Ofcom

Matt Hancock, the culture secretary, has referred Trinity Mirror’s £200 million deal to buy the Express and Star newspapers to the media regulator Ofcom over issues including plurality and the editorial independence of Richard Desmond’s titles. Trinity Mirror’s shareholders voted to back the deal to add the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday newspapers, as well as magazines including celebrity title OK!, to its national titles the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People. Mr Hancock, who is able to block the deal or force a sell-off of some titles, has

given Ofcom until 31 May to complete its investigation. He has also asked the Competition Markets Authority to report back on any wider competition issues the deal may raise.

Clash over new roles after redundancies

The chapel at the Swindon Advertiser has dismissed as ‘wrong’ Newsquest’s justification for advertising two newsdesk roles after making the news editor redundant. This year, staff at the paper staged a strike in protest

against redundancies. The chapel questioned the

‘soundness’ of Newsquest’s plan to replace valued staff with less experienced people on significantly less money

in ‘roles that mimic the former positions’. Toby Granville, Newsquest’s editorial development director, said: “This is more nonsense being stirred up by

NUJ head office. The two new audience and content editor roles are to fill the vacancies created by recent resignations. They are not replacing any of the roles made redundant.” A Swindon chapel

spokesman said this explanation was wrong.

Further job cuts are terrible news for our members at Trinity Mirror and will heighten concerns over the company’s strategic direction

Michelle Stanistreet NUJ general secretary


FT DROPS OUTDATED ‘SIR’ FROM LETTERS The FT has dropped the ‘Sir’, greeting from its readers’ letters. The newspaper, which has a male editor (Lionel Barber) said the term was old fashioned. The Guardian stopped using ‘Sir’ on letters in 1988 but many other titles still use it.

HOTEL PLANS FOR ECHO BUILDING The Liverpool Echo has left the offices it has occupied for the past 45 years. The building in Old Hall Street will be redeveloped into a hotel. The paper has moved to new offices in nearby St Paul’s Square. Trinity Mirror, the Echo’s owner, said that the old building was a purpose-built print operation and the shift to digital meant the paper had different requirements.

ARCHANT SEES SALES AND PROFITS FALL Archant, the regional news group that publishes the Eastern Daily Press and more than 50 other titles, suffered an 11 per cent fall in total revenue to £95.5 million last year. Operating profit was down by 44 per cent on a like-for-like basis to £4.7 million. Advertising revenue was down 12 per cent at £70.9 million.

LOCAL PAPER EDITOR BECOMES COUNCIL PR Chris Prime, editor of the Newark Advertiser, has left after 10 years in the role. He is moving to local government PR. He first joined the family-owned paper in 1987 as a junior reporter, then moved to the Nottingham Post. He rejoined the Advertiser in 1994 and took over as deputy editor in 2004.

RADIO 4 PRESENTERS SWITCH PLACES Radio 4 news presenters Martha Kearney and Sarah Montague have traded places. Kearney has moved from the World at One to the Today programme, while Montague has gone from Today to the World at One. Montague worked on the Today programme for 18 years.

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