Northcliffe scraps subbing hub in North East - Press Gazette

Northcliffe scraps subbing hub in North East

Regional newspaper publisher Northcliffe Media is axing its central subbing operation in the North East and returning editorial page production to local centres.

The move – which Northcliffe confirmed would result in job losses – comes just two years after the hub was introduced in Hull to serve papers including the Hull Daily Mail, Grimsby Telegraph, Scunthorpe Telegraph and the Lincolnshire Echo.

The company said the break-up of the subbing hub was a ‘positive step in its wish to give ownership and control of its print products back to local teams”.

There are currently 17 full-time sub-editors and managers and one part-time sub-editor based in the hub alongside two graphic artists – but this will be cut to 15 sub-editor roles, two of which are part-time, based in Hull, Grimsby and Lincoln.

A 30-day consultation is underway with those affected.

Northcliffe recently converted the Lincolnshire Echo and Scunthorpe Telegraph from a daily to a weekly format, which saw some sub-editors move back to the local offices.

The company said its latest plan was a “continuation of this process”.

Neil Hodgkinson, who has replaced John Meehan as editor of the Hull Daily Mail, said: ‘The proposed move is part of our strategy to make Northcliffe a flexible, vibrant organisation with creativity at the heart of every centre.

‘Returning editorial production to the centres would help provide further opportunity to improve and expand their product portfolios whilst boosting morale and team work at a local level”.

He added: ‘The dedicated team has produced some great, award-winning pages but we have to be flexible enough to adapt our business to what is best practice for the future.

‘We are determined to give local management every chance to grow their business by encouraging entrepreneurial thinking that is not risk averse. To have the creative process back in-house could only help that process”.