£20 million cuts to follow clear-out of editors at Northcliffe

Northcliffe Newspapers has announced plans to slash £20 million a year from budgets.
Management has not ruled out editorial job cuts.
 
The move comes after the abrupt departures last
week of two of the company’s longest serving editors: David Gledhill,
at the Bath Chronicle, and Mike Lowe at the Bristol Evening Post.
 
At Bristol centralisation of editorial staff
between the Evening Post and sister morning paper the Western Daily
Press has been predicted.
And at Bath, staff fear Gledhill’s departure was prompted by plans to
take the title weekly or twice-weekly.
 
There was a further senior departure this week as
Barrie Williams announced his early retirement as editor of the
Western Morning News.
 
Williams said his decision to go was prompted by “a major change of policy and structure within Northcliffe newspapers”.
 
According to Northcliffe, today’s announcement
has come after £150 million of investment in IT and plant equipment. A
further £100 million of investment has been announced over the next
three years, including a new press facility in North Lincolnshire which
is expected to open in December 2007.
 
The programme includes the possible closure of older Northcliffe presses in Exeter, Hull, Grimsby and Lincoln.
 
Northcliffe Newspapers managing director Michael
Pelosi said: “Over the last five years we have invested substantially
in new presses and improved technology as part of our continued
commitment to producing high quality regional newspapers with strong
editorial content.
 
“We have consistently followed a strategy of
publishing market leading local newspapers and websites which cater for
the needs of our readers and advertisers. These organisational and
structural changes announced today will help us to continue this
successful strategy in the highly competitive and rapidly changing
local newspaper market.’
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