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May 13, 2015updated 15 May 2015 3:05pm

27 Mirror jobs at risk as publisher scales down Buzzfeed-style websites

By William Turvill and Dominic Ponsford

Trinity Mirror is set to cut 27 journalists from three Buzzfeed-style websites launched in the last two years and from its national print operation.

All 14 staff working across Mirror website offshoots Ampp3d, UsvsTh3m and Row Zed, as well as the title’s “social content team”, have been put at risk of redundancy.

In addition, 13 editorial jobs in print – from the Sunday People/Sunday Mirror production and the district teams – have also been put at risk. A number of new jobs are also being created.

UsvsTh3m and Ampp3d are to continue as brands, housed within the main website, for the present.

Meanwhile, the Mirror has announced the creation of eight new jobs – including two US-based online roles.

The Mirror said that it is creating three new online reporter roles for the UK, and will be employing one online journalist in New York and one in LA.

In addition, the group is planning to take on a head of production and two chief sub-editors for the daily and Sunday titles.

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In an email to staff this afternoon, seen by Press Gazette, Mirror editor-in-chief Lloyd Embley said that they “will continue as part of the main site”. He added: “This will be reviewed.”

Row Zed, which is devoted to “football fun, quizzes and gossip”, is to continue, Embley said, “with help from other members of the sports team”.

Embley’s email said: “The pressure to make the best use of our resources and to manage costs means that sometimes tough decisions have to be made. Sadly that is the situation we now find ourselves in.

“Although we have been performing excellently both in print and online, the market is incredibly tough.

“Following a thorough review of all our digital channels, we have identified certain areas of content which carry very high costs in comparison to the traffic they generate.

“Consequently, employees working on UsvTh3m, Ampp3d, Row Zed and the social content team have been put at risk of redundancy. Our aim is to focus resources on the areas of the Mirror site which show strongest traffic and greatest growth potential.

“We remain completely committed to our digital future and will continue to invest and innovate in this area, including creating new roles both now and in the future.  

“We plan to keep Row Zed running – with help from other members of the sports team.

“At this stage, UsvsTh3m and Ampp3d will continue as part of the main site. This will be reviewed. 

“We are also proposing to reduce a small number of roles across our print editorial teams. These changes will be the result of improved integration and further efficiencies in our workflows.

“All of those affected by the proposals have already been contacted by HR.

“I am sure you can understand that this is a difficult time and so we will be doing everything we can during the consultation period to assist and support those affected.”

Humour website UsVsTh3m launched in May 2013 and by April last year was claiming 9m unique users per month. Data website Ampp3d launched in December 2013. Both sites have a light-hearted, Buzzfeed-style approach.

A Mirror spokesperson said: “We have been open about the need to manage costs, ensuring we are making the best use of our resources as well as driving growth as part of our core strategy.

“UsVsTh3m and Ampp3d are more niche areas and have very high costs for the volume of traffic. It is therefore more sustainable for us to invest resource in an integrated digital team, focussing on the main areas of the Mirror site which have the strongest traffic and greatest growth potential. We remain committed to digital and will continue to invest and innovate in this area, including with new roles both now and in the future. The sites will remain part of the Mirror site for the time being.

“We are also proposing reducing a small number of roles in our print editorial and production teams. This is largely as a result of more effective ways of working following the integration of the Sunday teams last year, but also includes amalgamating some of our district cover.”

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