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April 29, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 7:43am

Ten jobs at risk at Newsquest’s Daily Echo titles on south coast under editorial hub plan

By Charlotte Tobitt

Ten jobs are at risk of redundancy at the Bournemouth and Southampton Daily Echo newspapers as Newsquest plans to create a joint editorial hub covering both titles.

The proposed changes come a month after Newsquest announced both south coast dailies will fall under the same editor for the first time.

Gordon Sutter, who has edited the Southampton Daily Echo for the past two years, will also take the helm at the Bournemouth title in June.

Bournemouth Echo editor and news editor Andy Martin is stepping down in semi-retirement after 31 years at the newspaper, although he will remain at the title as its associate editor and community ambassador.

Now, following a review of the two Daily Echo teams, Newsquest has decided to consult on creating a joint editorial hub in the Bournemouth newsroom which will share staff, with the merger of some roles.

Some jobs could be moved about 30 miles, or a 50-minute drive, from Newspaper House in Redbridge, Southampton, to Richmond Hill in Bournemouth (pictured).

A Newsquest spokesperson said: “We continue to look at ways of working more efficiently across our business and have recently had a review of the Bournemouth and Southampton departments.

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“We are now proposing to create one joint editorial hub in Bournemouth for both centres reporting to the group editor Gordon Sutter.

“Subsequently, some editorial functions currently based in Southampton will be either amalgamated and moved to Bournemouth or work from both locations while other roles will no longer be required thus sadly placing ten at risk of redundancy.”

The roles at risk in Southampton comprise one business editor, one content manager/head of production, one lifestyle writer, three sports writers, one picture editor and one “inputter” in Southampton, according to HTFP.

In Bournemouth, a business editor and a head of digital images are at risk.

Some redundancies are the result of roles merging,  with the separate business editor roles at each title to merge into one group business editor position and a photographer job at each merging into a group head of digital imaging role, both to be based in Bournemouth.

The Southampton Daily Echo had a circulation of 12,954 in July to December last year, while its sister title in Bournemouth had a circulation of 11,293, according to the latest ABC figures.

Meanwhile, Newsquest is asking for voluntary redundancy requests in Cheshire where it is proposing to move Chester Standard staff to the offices of the Leader in Mold, North Wales, about 25 minutes away by car.

A spokesperson for the publisher said: “Separately, the company is proposing to centralise the Leader and Chester editorial function.

“This regional news team will be based at the Leader offices in Mold and in order to avoid any compulsory redundancies we are willing to consider any requests for voluntary redundancy in the first instance.”

Picture: Google Maps

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