A review at four of Archant’s regional divisions that could have resulted in widespread editorial redundancies has been suspended.
In May, Belgian consultants Cees Sistermans were called in to undertake a review of Archant Suffolk, Archant Herts & Cambs and Archant London, amounting to 80 newspapers and 20 magazines employing 500 editorial staff.
Early last year, 14 journalists were axed from the Norfolk division when the company combined its subbing and sports operation of its morning title the Eastern Daily Press, evening title the Evening News in Norwich and weekly titles. No further job losses are planned, although four positions which could have been replaced will not be.
In a memo, Archant Norfolk managing director Barry Dennis informed staff: ‘We have agreed existing staff numbers for the 2007 budget and have no plans for further changes at this time.
‘Under the current economic climate we, like all UK media businesses, will continue to look for efficiencies within the business.’Archant Norfolk NUJ committee member Peter Kelley said: ‘The NUJ clearly opposes the effective loss of four jobs, by non-replacement, and especially so on the Norwich Evening News, where I know some reporters have recently been working 10 or 12 hours a day. ‘However, the company deserves a great deal of credit for having the courage, after commissioning a review like this, to reject calls for more radical changes or job losses.”