Hall says PA will handle some of production work on Seven Days section
Next step in the Press Association’s plan to mop up areas of publishing traditionally the domain of newspapers and magazines is to be Hello!’s Seven Days section.
Although Hello! editor Phil Hall is cagey about the rebirth of the centre section – previously produced out of house by John Brown Enterprises – the 2 January issue will have production partly done by PA.
The national news agency is to take on more journalists. Last week, Press Holdings publisher Andrew Neil announced that, from January, Sunday Business would be produced by PA at its London headquarters at Victoria.
Now, with another publication outsourcing part of its operation to the agency for an early New Year deadline, the pressure on the existing workforce would be too great and PA is advertising for staff in Press Gazette this week.
John Brown Enterprises has lost the contract for Seven Days and Hall has brought the section back in-house. Art director David Billington, who put together the original design for Seven Days, is already said to be producing dummies for a new-look section provisional called 7.
Hall said: "We are just looking at different ways of doing things, some aspects of the magazine and of the section. I really want to take more control of the section myself but I haven’t got the space in the office or the number of staff to do it. So I am getting PA to handle some of the production work."
Hall was firm that Hello! would be driving the content. "We are redesigning pages in the magazine all the time and the section is no different. We will do some of the production ourselves."
The section is edited by Leah Hardy, who is currently on maternity leave. Standing in for her has been William Sitwell.
John Brown said the contract was supposed to end three months ago and staff would continue to produce the section until Christmas. He said some of the team would be re-allocated jobs elsewhere in the company but it was too early to say whether there would be any redundancies.
By Jean Morgan and Ruth Addicott