Archant to merge Gravesend Reporter with Dartford Times

Archant London is planning to merge its part-paid for weekly Gravesend Reporter with part-paid for sister paper, the Dartford and Swanley Times – prompting fears of job losses.

The move by the regional publishing group comes as part of a proposal to reorganise the operation of its Kent newspapers, based in Sidcup, and will see the closure of its Gravesend office.

The proposal would see production of the merged paper moved to Archant’s production ‘hub’in Ilford.

The existing sports department of the papers would similarly be absorbed into the existing Ilford sports unit from which Archant already produces content for other local papers in the region.

Press Gazette understands that, in addition to subbing and sports posts, one senior staff position could go as the proposed new regime would feature an editor, two news editors, two trainees and three senior reporters.

Seven members of staff are understood to be affected by the proposals and have entered consultation with the company.

According to the most recent data provided by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the Gravesend Reporter had an average distribution of 21,676 over the six months to January last year -18,556 of this was free letterbox delivery.

Over the same period, the Dartford and Swanley Times averaged a distribution of 15,461, with 14,634 on average delivered free via letterboxes.

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