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November 20, 2017

Newsquest asks for voluntary redundancies at Isle of Wight County Press four months after takeover

By Freddy Mayhew

Newsquest has asked staff at the Isle of Wight County Press to apply for voluntary redundancy four months after it bought out the independent publisher.

The July deal included the weekly Isle of Wight County Press newspaper, alternative news website Yoppul, specialist digital agency Matrix as well as commercial printing press Crossprint.

A Newsquest spokesperson said: “An announcement has been made at the Isle of Wight County Press inviting employees to apply for voluntary redundancy if they wish to do so.

“This is regrettable but forms part of our plan for the Isle of Wight County Press to have a sustainable future.”

There were calls for Newsquest’s takeover to be delayed while alternative management options were sought, but shareholders approved the deal with no opposition.

Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said they feared Newsquest would cut staff on the paper, following recent cuts to its operations, hampering local news coverage on the island.

A statement from the Isle of Wight Country Press NUJ chapel at the time warned: “Dedicated, hard working and loyal staff will lose their jobs, and the breadth of detailed, well researched news articles, sports coverage, features and community news will be diminished enormously.”

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