Editors could be axed across Johnston Press South Midlands titles in 'newsroom of the future' shake-up

Editors across Johnston Press newspapers in the South Midlands could be axed as part of a "newsroom of the future" shake-up.

Holdthefrontpage reports today that Northampton Chronicle and Echo editor David Summers is to oversee titles across the region.

It said that newspapers are to be divided into four geographic divisions and that each will have a deputy editor, who will act as a "de facto" editor. One of the divisions will be made up of three Northamptonshire newspapers, and another will cover Leicestershire and Warwickshire.

According to Holdthefrontpage, six editor posts – covering the Banbury Guardian; Bucks Herald, Bucks Advertiser and Hemel Hempstead Gazette; Luton News and Biggleswade Chronicle; Leamington Spa Courier and Rugby Advertiser; Milton Keynes Citizen and Bedford Times and Citizen; and Northamptonshire Telegraph and Harborough Mail – are to be lost.

But Johnson Press has responded by saying that not all of the positions will be lost and that future plans have not yet been finalised.

According to Holdthefrontpage, there is no scheme in place for voluntary redundancy and it is not yet known whether any jobs will be lost as a result.

It said that existing deputy editor and news editor roles are to be replaced by content editor positions.

HTFP said that two centralised “hubs” are also to be created for “managing community news and user generated content and sport across the 80-mile long region”. It said that two additional senior roles will be created to lead these.

A Johnston Press spokesperson said: "We have already shared our plans to reorganise our newsrooms and deliver quality content more effectively in response to the changing ways our audiences consume news and information.

"These plans for our 'newsrooms of the future' are now being shared and shaped locally and a proposed structure was discussed with our team in the South Midlands last week. As these discussions are ongoing it wouldn't be appropriate or fair to disclose further details at this stage. 

"However, the role of editor will remain in the structure as each centre will have its own editor. Whilst there may be a reduction in number, this does not mean all six editors will be removed."

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