Regional publishing group Archant is planning to make seven deputy editor posts redundant and proposes to centralise the production of six of its north London newspapers.
Archant told staff last night that the imminent expiry of the lease on its Bethnal Green office – and the high costs of alternative office space locally – would result in its closure with all publishing activities transferring to its offices in Ilford.
The regional publisher said it planned to transfer all staff to Ilford from Monday, 29 November, where it intended to create a ‘common editorial production unit’which would lay out pages for Archant’s Recorder series, the Barking and Dagenham Post, Stratford and Newham Express, East London Advertiser, Hackney Gazette, Stoke Newington Gazette and Docklands.
This proposal was likely to result in the six deputy editor posts on these papers being made redundant, Archant told staff, with a further deputy editor post expected to go from its Times series, which is published from offices in Swiss Cottage.
As part of the proposal Archant plans to transfer its existing sub-editors from Bethnal Green and Illford into the new production pool and create a number of new editorial production roles – including a production editor role and a number of production assistant postions. In addition, the publishing group intends to also create an editor’s post for the Times series based in Swiss Cottage.
Bob Crawley, editorial director of Archant London, told Press Gazette: “Our proposal is to create a common production unit for the titles currently published out of the Bethnal Green office and those published from the Ilford office.
“Following our decision to close the Bethnal Green office we took the opportunity to review the editorial production operation for these titles.
“We believe the proposed common production unit will allow us to introduce uniform standards; deliver efficiencies; have greater flexibility for covering illness and holiday periods, therefore reducing freelance costs; share relevant content easier; introduce more cross-title platforms and develop editorially-led commercial projects.”