20 jobs at risk as Newsquest moves production of Southampton daily to Weymouth and Newport

Up to 20 Newsquest subbing roles have been put at risk of redundancy in Southampton as the publisher moves its production work to hubs in Weymouth (Dorset) and Newport (South Wales).

Ian Murray, editor-in-chief of Newsquest Hampshire, has told staff that the introduction of its new system, to be introduced this month, will “improve operational efficiency and save costs”.

In an email to staff on Friday, seen by Press Gazette, he said that “in order to streamline the business and to reduce costs, we are notifying you of Newsquest Hampshire’s proposal to transfer their sub editing production from Southampton to the Weymouth sub editing unit in Dorset”.

He added: “Some sub-editing and design functions may also transfer to the Newport Subbing Hub under the proposal.”

Staff were told that if the proposal goes ahead the process will begin in mid-April and last until the summer “at which time it is proposed all titles will have moved their editorial subbing and design functions to the company’s Weymouth and Newport operations”.

He said that the changes will see the company create two new “Production Design Editor roles” to be based in Redbridge, Greater London.

Murray also said that there “may also be a requirement for one or two additional roles to carry out some aspects of design that may remain at the Southampton office”.

A consultation period started on the proposals today and will continue until Wednesday 8 April.  

He did not specify in the email how many jobs are at risk, but Press Gazette understands the figure stands at around 20 and includes subbing, sports subbing and production roles.

Newsquest Hampshire announced plans last month to axe its picture editor and deputy picture editor positions – and create a "User Generated Content Editor" role.

Three editors were also made redundant as Southern Daily Echo editor Murray moved to take additional charge of the Hampshire Chronicle, Romsey Advertiser and Basingstoke Gazette.

Murray declined to comment.

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