Bristol MD retires on health grounds

Bristol
United Press managing director Tim Kitchen has decided to retire in
April, citing health reasons and a desire to spend more time with his
family.

The papers he oversees, the Bristol Evening Post and
Western Daily Press, are facing 36 job cuts as part of Northcliffe’s
Aim Higher programme, which is aimed at cutting costs by £30m.

Kitchen,
who underwent heart surgery a few years ago, joined the company in 1978
and has held numerous senior roles, including deputy managing director
at The Sentinel in Stoke and managing director at the Express &
Echo in Exeter and Derby Evening Telegraph.

He resigned from the company in April and agreed to work a 12-month notice period to see through the changes in Bristol.

Managing
director Michael Pelosi said in an internal memo to staff: “Tim has
been a highly valued colleague for many years. However, he has taken
his decision to retire on health grounds.”

■ Bristol MPs have joined the campaign against the job cuts Northcliffe is planning for the city’s papers.

Labour’s
Roger Berry, Kerry McCarthy, Doug Naysmith, Dan Norris and Dawn
Primarolo are concerned it could result in lower quality journalism.

They
believe a “loss of individuality, and the element of competition, will
be destroyed if the same journalists write for both titles”.

A
Northcliffe spokesman said: “Northcliffe is behaving entirely properly
and firmly believes that Aim Higher is designed to strengthen the
newspapers and will not impact on editorial standards.”

Journalists
at the papers are balloting for strike action and the result is due on
19 December. It is not yet known when redundancies will be announced at
papers throughout the group.

Meanwhile an estimated six editorial positions are to be made redundant at Western Newspapers in the editorial department.

The cuts will not affect reporters or photographers but will affect some subbing positions.

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