Archant's Norfolk papers move into new editorial HQ

Archant Norfolk has moved its entire news staff into a new home ahead of the introduction of new editorial technology early next year.

Employees have moved into a new editorial ‘hub’ set-up after the publisher involved industry body Ifra to help it integrate print and online editorial operations across its local titles.

The regional publisher will now produce the Eastern Daily Press, the Norwich Evening News and associated weeklies from its new home at Prospect House in Norwich.

In the new headquarters six ‘content editors’ will sit alongside two ‘senior content editors’ at a circular table in the middle of the editorial floor.

The newsroom is then separated into distinct clusters, including reporters, production, sport and features departments.

Peter Waters, editor of the EDP, said: “We merged the two daily newspaper teams in June, and set up new structures and roles, but it’s only now that we’re in a completely new environment that we can say it’s been a success.

“The best thing is that although we still have two daily conferences attended by the two brand editors [one for each of the daily papers], effectively we have a continuous dialogue between the key decision-makers.

“There were huge cultural changes involved with bringing together two news teams who have a heritage of competing against each other for the best stories, but the entire editorial team have shown an appetite for working as one and it’s to their credit that this has gone so smoothly.”

The move into new offices is part of an overhaul of Archant’s operation in Norfolk; however genesis of integrated working has not always been smooth.

An ongoing redundancy programme led Archant to look to cut around 34 of the 179-strong editorial team at its Norfolk titles.

In April, journalists at Archant Norfolk issued a vote of no confidence in the company’s management in response to its handling of the redundancy process.

Peter Franzen, EDP editor for 16 years, then retired in July and was replaced by Waters. Paul Durrant, former assistant editor of the EDP, then also left the newspaper as part of the redundancy programme.

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