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March 29, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 7:35am

More Newsquest editorial roles at risk in ‘cruel blow’ to staff in Brighton, London and Wales

By Charlotte Tobitt

Seven editorial jobs are being axed at three Newsquest newsrooms across Brighton, south London and Wales in a “cruel blow” to the publisher’s remaining staff, the National Union of Journalists has said.

At the Argus in Brighton, Newsquest is proposing to axe a business editor, picture editor, and one of two remaining sports desk roles, the union said.

Meanwhile at Newsquest’s South London office in Sutton, an editor and one of two remaining sub-editors are at risk.

This newsroom produces the Surrey Comet, which has Kingston and Epsom editions, the Croydon Guardian and Sutton Guardian, and the Richmond and Twickenham Times, Wimbledon Times and Wandsworth Times.

Press Gazette understands staff at the south London office are now anticipating a move towards “write to shape” – where journalists write stories directly onto a pre-designed print template instead of a sub-editor laying out the page.

An effort was made to implement the system last year but did not go ahead, it is understood.

In Newsquest’s Colwyn Bay office, which produces four weekly titles, the content manager and head of news roles have been put at risk of redundancy, the NUJ said.

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However the publisher has also proposed to create a new audience and content editor role.

The proposal affects the North Wales Chronicle, The Pioneer, The Rhyl Journal and the Denbighshire Free Press where the NUJ claims half of its four senior editorial staff have been lost in the past six months.

The titles were formerly owned by NWN Media but taken over by Newsquest in late 2017.

Chris Morley, Newsquest NUJ group coordinator, said: “With newsrooms throughout Newsquest so badly depleted after many years of constant job attrition, these latest cuts are a cruel blow to poorly paid professionals doing their best to make journalism work in a company that appears to show disdain for it.”

Press Gazette has contacted Newsquest for comment, but has yet to receive a response.

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