Eight staff in jeopardy at Daily Echo

By Dominic Ponsford

Eight journalists’ posts on the Southern Daily Echo in Southampton
are threatened with redundancy after a dip in advertising revenue.

Staff have received letters from editor Ian Murray, informing them
that a proposed reduction in the number of editions, a decline in
advertising revenue and the introduction of new technology, meant jobs
were at risk.

The Newsquest-owned Echo has performed
comparatively well in recent years: sales were down 2.7 per cent
yearon- year to 42,137 in 2004.

A spokesman said: “In an attempt
to avoid compulsory redundancy, Newsquest is offering affected staff
the opportunity to take part in a voluntary redundancy scheme.”

Staff
at the Daily Echo have NUJ recognition. A union spokesman said: “We
condemn the action by management in not consulting with the recognised
chapel over the proposed redundancies.

We are surprised that such
a profitable company wants to make journalists redundant, which will
have implications regarding the workload for remaining journalists.”

It
is understood that pay negotiations are underway at other Newsquest
papers, where below three per cent pay offers are on the table,
including The Argus, Brighton, the South London Guardian and the Oxford
Mail.

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