Trinity Mirror closing two Merseyside weekly newspapers, the Crosby Herald and Formby Times - Press Gazette

Trinity Mirror closing two Merseyside weekly newspapers, the Crosby Herald and Formby Times

Trinity Mirror is closing two more local newspapers – the Formby Times and Crosby Herald, both in Merseyside.

The Formby paper had a free circulation of around 10,000 and the Crosby paper had a paid-for circulation of around 3,500 a week (at 75p per copy), according to ABC.

The two towns will continue to be covered by the Champion series free newspaper title.

One reporter role will be cut out of five working across stable of weekly newspapers produced out of Liverpool.

Two photographers are also to lose their jobs when the photography teams based in Liverpool and Chester are merged, with four remaining.

One “community content curator” role out of six is also said be going from Liverpool. These “curators” are responsible for uploading community information to the company’s websites.

The changes were announced in an email to staff which said: "Our strategy is to continue to publish the much-loved paid-for titles, The Southport Visiter and the Ormskirk and Skelmersdale Advertisers, and to re-launch the Midweek Visiter as a Sefton-wide superfree that will provide a comprehensive regional service to both readers and advertisers in print.

“Unfortunately, we are today announcing our intention to close the Crosby Herald and Formby Times at the end of March. Both titles have a long and proud history and this decision is made with huge reluctance and in the knowledge that it will be accompanied by significant disappointment.”

A spokesperson for NUJ members at Trinity Mirror Merseyside said: “Members are very concerned about the reduction in photographers. We don’t see this as a way forward; they are already stretched to breaking point, without having to cover Chester as well. That would mean a 40-minute drive to get there at the very least and probably an hour.”

NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser Chris Morley said: “The roll call of fine newspapers that have ceased to be gets ever longer with this announcement. It is a loss that everyone needs to sit up and take notice of.

“When a newspaper goes, another light in the community goes out. Again, the relentless trend to eliminate professional staff photographers continues to the detriment of quality.

“It puts newspapers and websites at the mercy of vested interests, who submit free pictures they want published, or the chance that witnesses to news events pass on free photos, to fill the gap of proper, trained photographers who know their patch.

“Journalists’ jobs are at the same time being created by Trinity Mirror at Merseyside, so we would be clear that any reporter put at risk by these proposals should be able to transfer across to prevent redundancies.

“I remain to be convinced that leaving Chester without any professional photographer is either a sound or safe move.”

In November Trinity Mirror closed seven local newspapers – the Reading Post, GetReading , Wokingham and Bracknell Times, Surrey Herald, Surrey Times, Woking Informer and Harrow Observer – in Berkshire and Surrey with the loss of 50 jobs.



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette