25 editorial jobs at risk at Trinity Mirror north-east titles

Trinity Mirror has announced it is looking to cut about 66 jobs – including 25 journalists – at its newspapers in Newcastle and Middlesbrough.

The publisher is also proposing to close two papers in the region, the South Tyne Chronicle Extra and North Tyneside Chronicle Extra, and a handful of supplements.

The cuts were announced to staff this afternoon. It is expected that 18 editorial jobs will go in Newcastle and a further seven in Middlesbrough.

Trinity Mirror Regionals managing director Georgina Harvey said in a statement: “We, in common with all UK publishing companies, are facing some real challenges.

“As a consequence, this will involve difficult but necessary decisions to secure our long-term future.

“These actions announced today are designed to protect our North East businesses and the majority of their employees.

“We are seeking volunteers from within affected groups in order to minimise any necessity for compulsory redundancies.”

Today’s announcement comes eight months after another round of redundancies at the division, which includes the Newcastle Chronicle, Newcastle Journal, Middlesbrough Gazette, Sunday Sun and their associated weeklies.

In November last year, Trinity Mirror announced 28 editorial redundancies at the Newcastle and Middlesbrough bases and the closure of five offices – in Guisborough, Stockton, Redcar, Durham and North Shields – as the company moved towards a multimedia newsroom operation.

The division also lost its managing director, Steve Brown, in April this year, prompting the National Union of Journalists to express “deep concerns” about Trinity Mirror’s management of the titles.

The NUJ chapels in Newcastle and Middlesbrough are due to meet next week to decide on their response.

NUJ northern regional organiser Chris Morley said: “The announcement of these savage cutbacks have left people feeling shell shocked and angry.

“These latest cuts must represent about 10 per cent of the editorial workforce and come on top of reductions in staffing earlier this year.

“Journalists on these titles are already struggling to cope with the day-to-day demands placed on them since the last round of redundancies.

“It is hard to understand how the company expects people to continue to produce quality journalism with such depleted staffing levels.

“NUJ members will now decide on how they plan to respond. Combined with Trinity Mirror’s plans for cutbacks across the Midlands, the company’s stated commitments to local communities look pretty hollow.

“It is left to its journalists to stand up for quality on their titles.”

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