Northcliffe 'news factories' to cost 50 jobs

Northcliffe is cutting 50 jobs as it centralises subbing in the East Midlands, Humberside and Lincolnshire.

The announcement brings the number of job losses caused by ‘centralisation’this year to 135.

In the East Midlands, the Leicester Mercury, Nottingham Evening Post, and Derby Telegraph will all be subbed in what Northcliffe calls a Nottingham ‘centre of excellence’under the new proposals. At least 30 jobs are expected to be lost from those titles.

In Humberside and Lincolnshire, the Hull Daily Mail, Grimsby Telegraph, Scunthorpe Telegraph and Lincolnshire Echo will be subbed in a Hull ‘centre of excellence”, with 20 jobs at risk under that plan.

One Northcliffe journalist who contacted Press Gazette said: ‘It is awful, awful news.’Another, from a different paper, said: ‘We all feel awful.”

Chris Morley, National Union of Journalists organiser for the North of England, said of the East Midlands cuts: ‘The establishment of a news factory in Nottingham demonstrates a total lack of commitment to local journalism.

‘The area to be covered is enormous, from Market Harborough in the south to the edge of Sheffield in the north. Local knowledge will go out of the window.”

Northcliffe said in statement said: ‘The proposed changes involve a regional approach to editorial production.

‘Editors, however, will be fully responsible for their titles to preserve the local identity of the newspapers and websites.

‘The titles will continue to reinforce their position as the leading providers of local news, information and advertising, in print and digitally.”

Earlier this month, Northcliffe announced similar proposals in Staffordshire, with 24 jobs at risk.

This year, Johnston Press has announced centralisation of sub-editors and photographic staff in the North West, with 12 jobs lost, and the Midlands, with 49 jobs going there. In December, it announced centralisation in Derry, with 11 job losses.

In November, Trinity Mirror announced centralisation across the North West and North Wales, into four ‘multimedia hubs”, with 59 journlists losing their jobs.

Meanwhile, Northcliffe’s sister company Harmsworth Press has announced it plans to close the press that prints the Leicester Mercury and other local papers. Up to 66 jobs could be lost, with printing moving to other Northcliffe presses.

A Northcliffe statement said: ‘It is not unusual for regional daily newspapers to be printed at locations away from the publishing business, and most of Northcliffe’s daily newspapers are already printed offsite.”

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