12 jobs at risk as Newsquest moves more production of Scottish titles to Wales

Around a dozen production jobs are at risk across the Herald and Times group in Glasgow as it seeks to transfer more roles to Newsquest’s subbing hub in Newport, South Wales.

The news was announced in a company statement, which also said £200,000 was to be invested in “new technology and automating editorial processes as it modernises its newsroom”.

The changes will see editors "select page layouts from a huge library of templates created in Glasgow rather than drawing each page by hand from scratch".

The statement said: "A new editorial production system will improve efficiency and allow reporters and photographers to send instant coverage from news events to heraldscotland.com and eveningtimes.co.uk using mobile technology fit for the fast-moving real-time news environment."

Voluntary redundancy scheme has been opened to all 160 editorial staff across the group.

Earlier this week, the group – which publishes the Herald, Evening Times, Sunday Herald and the Scottish Farmer – reported that its pre-tax profits were at £9.2m in the year to 29 December, down from £12m the year before. The group said that this was because “rapid growth” online had failed to offset print decline.

This year, Newsquest has faced action from the National Union of Journalists over the transfer of production roles to Newport from the West Midlands, North East and Lancashire.

The company statement said: "Sub-editing of stories has been handled at external specialist centres for some years, currently in Wales, and the company is proposing to transfer some routine work as part of the modernisation. However, all editing and content decisions will continue to be taken in Scotland as will control of the multi-million-pound editorial budget.

The group's managing director Tim Blott said: “We are committed to giving our readers the best possible service of unique and compelling content, whether online or in print. Our coverage of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Scottish independence referendum was second to none.

“Our print circulations have risen since last year, almost unique in the British newspaper industry.

“Our digital subscriptions and online audiences for our news web sites and apps are at record levels,” he said.

“We believe strongly in the future of Scottish journalism. We provide practical support for university journalism courses and led the unique Future NEWS project this year to inspire Scottish teenagers to join the media.

“We are also taking on 18 extra staff at our highly-successful Glasgow-based internet business s1."

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