Editorial jobs go at Reed as it enters a period of caution

Reed Business Information has announced a round of redundancies in its technology and construction titles.

A total of 16 redundancies are proposed, two months after 32 jobs were axed at a number of Reed Elsevier health titles.

Of the new proposed redundancies, eight are editorial. The redundancies announced in December included 19 editorial posts on healthcare titles, including Doctor and Hospital Doctor, which were set to close.

The technology titles now affected are Computer Weekly, Electronics Weekly and Microscope and in construction, Contract Journal and Plant Managers Journal.

In each group of titles, four of the proposed redundancies are in editorial.

The NUJ chapel committee member at RBI, David Jones, said the staff had entered a consultation process with the company.

On Contract Journal, two of the journalists whose jobs are part of the proposed redundancies are on secondment to other titles and it is ‘fairly likely’those individuals will stay employed.

The company is also proposing to create a new job, which could potentially mean only one journalist out of the four editorial roles in that portfolio could be facing redundancy.

The cuts in technology titles are understood to be in part due to restructuring at Electronics Weekly. The title is set to reduce the amount of fresh editorial by using more content from a sister US title.

A minor restructuring at Computer Weekly will mean the loss of potentially one job at the title.

In an internal memo to staff, RBI chief executive Keith Jones said of the closures: ‘We continue to reflect the changing shape of the business – this means new jobs being created, but also some existing jobs being closed.

‘I appreciate that any job closure that results in a redundancy is one too many, but around two-thirds of our costs are ‘people costs’. We have to reflect the commercial realities of the markets we operate in and the technology market has slowed markedly in the past six months. Beyond the restructuring announced this week, we will take a step back and review our progress after we have seen our first quarter’s trading results.”

Jones said that the company was going into 2008 with a lot more ‘caution’than a year ago and predicted that a possible recession would have an effect on advertising revenue. But he said investment would continue. ‘We will continue to invest in developing our online subscription, recruitment, community and reader response services – this is where most of the future growth of the company will come from,’he said.

Consultation is ongoing for staff at the affected healthcare titles.

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