Trinity Mirror closes newspapers in Milton Keynes, Luton and Northampton as Local World purge continues - Press Gazette

Trinity Mirror closes newspapers in Milton Keynes, Luton and Northampton as Local World purge continues

Trinity Mirror is closing three more local newspapers with the loss of six editorial jobs.

OneMK (formerly MK News), Luton on Sunday and the Northampton Herald and Post are all closing.

They are all free weekly newspapers and are part of the Local World group which was bought by Trinity Mirror in a £220m deal last November.

Luton on Sunday had a free distribution of 68,000 the last time it was audited by ABC in 2013. The Herald and Post had a circulation of 48,000 in 2013 according to ABC. No circulation figures are available for OneMK.

Trinity Mirror is keeping Bedford on Sunday (part of the same group) but its two reporters and editor face being replaced by a content manager, reporter and photographer.

According to the National Union of Journalists the titles were closed without consultation.

NUJ national organiser Laura Davison said: “This announcement has come as a bombshell to staff on these titles. Once again Trinity Mirror has announced a shutdown of papers with no consultation with journalists or readers. Local people, democratic bodies and businesses are going to be stripped of a voice and plurality will be massively undermined.

“The company’s actions smack of arrogance. These operations are already run on a shoe string and now more jobs are set to go. It is another big red warning flag hoisted over the crisis in quality local journalism. We urge local people to join our campaign for properly resourced local journalism.

“Other Local World centres have been reorganised, merged and staff cut since the Trinity Mirror take over. They have been treated as the poor relation with poverty pay and only statutory minimum redundancy pay outs.”

Trinity Mirror has made widespread cutbacks across the Local World group, closing websites and consolidating editorial teams across multiple titles.

It closed the Nuneaton news in May this year (another Local World title).

Last year Trinity Mirror closed 19 local newspapers (before the Local World take over).

A Trinity Mirror spokesperson said: “We are closing three free weekly titles in Luton, Milton Keynes and Northampton as part of a review of our portfolio to look at how we best serve our readers and advertisers in these markets.

“We are not exiting these markets but will retain a presence in a different way. We believe there is a better way for us to provide content and commercial solutions for the local communities, for example through a schedule of niche products and awards and events.

“We will also be increasing the focus on Bedfordshire on Sunday which remains as both a print title and website. We will be increasing distribution of this title into Luton and broadening our online coverage.

“The number of roles we require to deliver the new portfolio of products is less than the current structure and as a result the business proposes to reduce the headcount, so unfortunately a number of roles in editorial and commercial are at risk of redundancy as part of these changes.”




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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette