Fears that Archant review could mean job cuts

Archant has brought in consultants to undertake an editorial review which the company's journalists fear could result in job cuts.

Earlier this year 14 journalists were axed from Archant Norfolk following the creation of a combined subbing pool and a combined sports subbing operation for the Eastern Daily Press, Evening News in Norwich, and associated weekly titles.

The review will cover the divisions Archant Norfolk, Archant Suffolk, Archant Herts & Cambs and Archant London, amounting to 80 newspapers and 20 magazines, which employ 500 editorial staff. Consultants will be focusing on the content gathering areas, which could include newsdesks, reporters, photographers and feature desks. In a memo leaked to Press Gazette, staffs were informed by management that content gathering was the last area of the editorial operation to be reviewed.

Archant Regional's financial director Brian McCarthy said: "In common with most other publishers, we are constantly reviewing the way that all our operations are carried out, and this review is part of that process. In editorial, we need to meet the challenges posed by new channels of delivery and content management, particularly with publishing to the web.

"Markets are changing, what consumers and advertisers want from their regional media businesses are changing and the competition is changing, including from unexpected sources such as the BBC, with online and emerging ultra-local television. We expect the current phase to run for the next couple of months and to engage all our editorial units."

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