Bristol staff disappointed at focus on shareholders

By Sarah Lagan

The NUJ chapels at the Bristol Evening Post and Western Daily Press said they welcomed the removal of some of the uncertainty over the future of the Northcliffe titles, but expressed doubts that it would signal any improvements for staff.

Former Evening Post Father of Chapel Derek Brooks, who has taken voluntary redundancy, said: "We are pleased there is less uncertainty surrounding the shortterm future of the company, but we are bitterly disappointed that nowhere in the statement to the stock exchange did the company mention any interests of its staff or readers. Only the interests of its shareholders were mentioned. The company has got to have a change of outlook.

We hope it now sees sense, halts the cuts and invests in journalists for the long-term futures of the papers."

Union members have expressed concerns over a shortage of sub-editors on the Bristol titles’ sports desk, where cuts have been implemented.

New Evening Post FoC Steven Baxter said: "We are concerned that so early in the new regime, staff shortages are affecting our ability to provide two distinct newspapers for two distinct readerships.

But all remaining staff are working tirelessly for their readers, despite reduced numbers of journalists.

"It’s disappointing for staff at a time of cost-cutting and redundancies that a huge amount of money has been wasted in touting the business for sale and then failing to find a buyer at the right price.

We believe the future for Northcliffe is investing in quality journalism and improving its diversity of products."

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