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October 19, 2020updated 07 Nov 2023 5:49am

Telegraph returns subbing in-house four years after outsourcing it with loss of 20 jobs

By Charlotte Tobitt

Telegraph Media Group is bringing its print subbing back in-house less than four years after outsourcing production work to PA.

The publisher said the move was part of its investment into its subscription-first strategy and journalism as it could best serve subscribers across its products by centralising production expertise in one place.

It is understood the changes, due to take place in early 2021, will create jobs but it is not yet known how many.

At PA, which was said to be “disappointed” at the end of the partnership, those who work on the dedicated Telegraph production team in Howden, Yorkshire could be redeployed elsewhere within the group.

A TMG spokesperson said: “As Telegraph Media Group continues to invest in its subscription-first strategy and journalism, it will be consulting on bringing all production functions back in-house early in 2021.

“We thank PA for all their work, but we believe by centralising production expertise we can best serve subscribers across a range of products.”

A PA Media Group spokesperson said: “In the coming months, we will work with TMG to ensure a smooth migration of page production services to its in-house operation in London, while supporting PA staff affected by the change.

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“Over the last four years, we have enjoyed an excellent relationship with TMG and produced high-quality work. While we are disappointed at the end of the partnership, we understand it reflects a change in TMG’s internal processes.”

Production of most pages of the Telegraph’s daily and Sunday titles moved to PA in mid-2017 leaving a small core team in the newspaper’s London Victoria newsroom.

More than 20 Telegraph staffers were understood to be put at risk of redundancy at that time, including many long-serving stalwarts of the paper.

PA also replaced some of the work done for the Telegraph over the previous seven years by another third-party supplier, Pagemasters.

A well-placed source told Press Gazette at the time the move was an “absolute disgrace” that led to “outrage” among Telegraph staff.

The National Union of Journalists questioned “why the management is prepared to take the risk of outsourcing subbing when other companies have tried it and the track record is one of abject failure”.

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