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June 5, 2015

Trinity Mirror cuts 20 journalists from Daily Record, Sunday Mail and Scottish regionals

By Dominic Ponsford

Trinity Mirror is cutting 20 journalists from its Scottish national and regional newspaper titles.

The move comes days after cuts on a similar scale were announced across the company's regional titles in the Midlands – including the Birmingham Mail and Coventry Telegraph.

Press Gazette understands that a number of senior journalists have also been cut from the Mirror national titles in London in recent weeks.

Jobs set to go in Scotland included that of national titles head of content Steve Martin.

The titles affected include the Daily Record, Sunday Mail, Paisley Daily Express, the website, Business Insider and around 20 weekly and bi-weekly local newspapers.

Martin worked for the Sunday Mirror for 12 years before becoming Daily Record and Sunday Mail head of content in 2012. As a reporter for the Sunday Mirror he covered the Iraq war from Baghdad and the aftermath the September 11 attacks in New York.

Trinity Mirror said its Media Scotland division has a total editorial headcount of 311.

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In an email to staff, managing director Alan Rennie said: “Like all media companies we face revenue declines in print advertising and circulation. While we have made excellent progress in mitigating those declines through digital revenue growth we still face business challenges and it is important to manage our costs.”

He said that most of the jobs to go were management and production. The details are as follows:

  • Three jobs are at risk in the design studio
  • The back bench management subs on the Daily Record are set to be cut from three to two
  • The regional subbing operation is set to lose its production editor, designer and sports sub – with the roles replaced by one head of production
  • Three subs on the Daily Record and Sunday Mail are set o be replaced with multimedia journalists
  • One sports writer is to be cut from the Daily Record and Sunday Mail
  • The editor and news editor of the Paisley Daily Express are going to be replaced with one executive editor.

Rennie said: “We have endeavoured to inform all potentially directly-impacted staff before this announcement that their jobs could be at risk. We will be consulting with the NUJ and individuals over the next 30 days.

“We understand that it is a challenge to produce award-winning newspapers papers with fewer staff. So it is important we all do what we can to streamline workloads.

“The Record and Sunday Mail move to a single Scottish edition structure with the exception of regional adverts. We will retain the capacity for slips up until 12.30am – for instance in the event of a major news story.

“With fewer people, there will be fewer checks. Reporters and writers need to produce copy fit for online in the first instance and which requires the absolute minimum intervention from production for print and digital.

“The main focus of MMJs should be headline and caption writing, copy fitting and pulling together complex multi-sourced stories.

“We need to target our art power on the showpiece pages and simplify design.

“As a consequence, we will template up to 70 per cent of all Daily Record and Sunday Mail pages – this includes magazines and sport.

“Our aim is to achieve saving targets through voluntary means. We will consult with the NUJ and try to find alternative employment for staff potentially at risk.”

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