Trinity Mirror has announced 78 redundancies across its network of regional newspapers today as it creates new subbing hubs in an extensive restructure of its operations.
There will be a net loss of 34 jobs as the publisher is also set to create 44 new roles, including 17 video and digital production posts, which affected staff can apply for.
A spokesperson for Trinity Mirror said there would be about a dozen production hubs created under the restructure. They added that 35 existing vacancies within the company “will no longer be recruited for” while an additional 19 roles would be.
They said the move follows an internal review that identified “opportunities for greater investment, particularly around digital and content creation, as we look to increase engagement and connect with digital audiences on a larger scale”.
They added: “The company is proposing to introduce regional print production teams; sharing resource and best practice to improve efficiency.”
Trinity Mirror’s editorial director for the regions, Neil Benson, said: “It is essential that we keep reviewing the way we are set up in order to stay relevant to readers, to capitalise on audience growth opportunities and to keep our costs in line with revenues.
“As a result, this means we are proposing that a number of roles will be lost. However, this will be partially offset by a number of new roles being introduced, particularly around video creation and production, which we see as a significant opportunity.
“The restructure is a key part of our strategy to secure a long term, successful and sustainable future for regional press.”
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said it was meeting the announcement with “deep concern”.
Trinity Mirror’s move to a subbing hub model comes despite the NUJ having labelled rival regional publisher Newsquest’s larger production centres a “failed experiment” amid regular redundancies.
The decision follows a string of regional newspaper closures made by Trinity Mirror since it took over Local World in October 2015 in a deal worth £220m under its Newsroom3.0 restructure.
In October last year, the publisher announced the closure of Crawley News, OneMK, Luton on Sunday and the Northampton Herald and Post within 24 hours.
All the former Local World titles have been subject to cutbacks as they have moved to web-first publishing models.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “News of yet more cuts is a massive blow to journalists working throughout the group who need to be convinced that this new strategy for chasing digital growth is one that will actually yield results and – critically – one that will preserve quality journalism across the group.
“We have posed a number of questions to the company about the restructure and, along with our network of reps, will continue to discuss how we can minimise the number of redundancies and protect our members.
“A flexible redeployment process will be key to this, to ensure that the skills and experience of journalists whose roles are put at risk are not needlessly lost to the company.
“Another priority for us will be in securing fair treatment for journalists working across the Local World sites – we want fair, commensurate redundancy terms for all.
“When the public-facing corporate mantra is One Trinity Mirror, the same principles should apply to treatment of staff wherever they happen to work in the group – particularly under a plan that will involve more pooling of resources and merging of operations across the two businesses.”