Trinity Mirror set to cut 22 journalists in Wales

Twenty-two journalism jobs could go in South Wales after Trinity Mirror unveiled details of another editorial restructure at Media Wales.

The company wants to introduce a single production team for news and features across the Western Mail, South Wales Echo, Wales on Sunday, and its seven-title Celtic newspaper series.

It would lead to the loss of 22 full-time roles including eight jobs from news production, 10 from the district offices and four from the sports department.

‘Media Wales continues to face tough economic challenges in 2011 and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future,’said Media Wales managing director Alan Edmunds.

‘By proposing these changes we believe we will be better positioned to deliver first-class print and digital content to readers and advertisers and protect our portfolio of local and regional newspapers.”

NUJ members said they were shocked at the announcement and demanded an urgent meeting with management, vowing to do ‘everything possible’to protect jobs.

The NUJ chapel unanimously passed a motion which read: “This chapel expresses shock at the scale of editorial cuts being proposed by the management of Media Wales.

‘While recognising the especially challenging nature of the trading climate in Wales, it is determined to do everything possible to protect the jobs, wages and conditions of its members, as well as the quality of our products.

“The chapel instructs the chapel committee to enter immediate talks with management to secure the best possible outcome and authorises the committee to take whatever action it sees fit in association with the union’s national officers, including organising a strike ballot.

“The Chapel also expresses its outrage at the obscene level of remuneration enjoyed by Trinity Mirror chief executive Sly Bailey – £1.7m in 2010 – and her fellow directors and calls on them to volunteer for a pay cut.”

A 30-day consultation on the plans is due to end on 15 August.

Last year the company announced that the four editors running the weekly Celtic newspaper series would be made redundant and replaced with a single editor-in-chief.

The four editors were appointed to run the Celtic weekly titles in November 2008 following the integration of production on all Media Wales titles earlier that year.

The shake-up also saw Trinity close district offices in Aberdare, Ebbw Vale and Neath and split production of the papers between the remaining offices in Merthyr, Bridgend and Pontypridd.

The move led to one editor taking charge of the Merthyr Express and Rhymney Valley Express and Gwent Gazette with a second editor looking after the Rhonda Leader and Pontypridd Observer.

A third editor took charge of the Cynon Valley Leader with another looking after the Glamorgan Gazette and the Neath and Port Talbot Guardians.

The two Guardian titles were then closed by Media Wales in 2009.

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