Wednesday 25 February 2009

Northcliffe editor rules out voluntary redundancies in plan to axe 50 sub editors

Hull Daily Mail editor and North-East regional editor John Meehan appears to have ruled out voluntary redundancies in Northcliffe's subbing revolution which will see production centres in Hull and Nottingham taking over local subbing.
HoldtheFrontPage, the website part owned by Northcliffe, says in an interview with the Hull editor:"Mr Meehan said the company would not be asking for volunteers for redundancy, but aiming to keep its best staff."
It quotes him saying: "We believe we can create a regional production operation that benefits from economies of scale and from retaining our best and most skilled production journalists. Unfortunately there will be some people who might find themselves in redundancy situations because the skills assessment identifies other people that are more suitable for the new roles."
Defending the plan, Meehan said: "Northcliffe passionately believes in being at the heart of all things local and I don't think this changes that. We'll continue to be focused on local content and local relevance but we've got to reflect the conditions we are facing in our business.
"We have focused on the production side because it may be the only way to reduce editorial costs significantly without impacting on local content.
"We will continue to have far more people on the ground than any other media organisation including the BBC which is uniquely immune from the challenges facing commercial media companies."
HTFP said the centralised subbing proposals will put around 20 jobs at risk at the Hull Daily Mail, Grimsby Telegraph, Scunthorpe Telegraph and Lincolnshire Echo, and a further 30 at the Leicester Mercury, Nottingham Evening Post and Derby Evening Telegraph.
A formal 30-day consultation period on the proposals has begun.

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