Highbury staff wait for word

Staff at 24 ex-Highbury technology titles are awaiting the results
of a two-week consultation process at new owners Imagine, fearing that
as many as 14 magazines and 70 staff could be at risk of the axe.

Workers
at the former Highbury Entertainment division, which includes GamesTM,
Play and Advanced Photoshop, completed the consultation last week and
are expecting an announcement this week.

However, ex-Highbury
staff at Hotdog, Front and DVD World, bought by SMD Publishing, a
spin-off of Attitude publisher Remnant Media, are believed to be safe
in their roles.

It is thought that Remnant’s other lifestyle
titles, including Attitude, will be transferred to SMD as a means of
keeping them separate from the rest of the company’s magazines, which
consist mainly of pornography titles.

And at Highbury’s
profitable hobby titles, bought by Encanta Media, all 45 staff have
been transferred to the new company and it is thought all are likely to
keep their positions.

Meanwhile, ex-Highbury House chairman
Kelvin MacKenzie this week broke his silence on the reasons behind the
collapse of the company, hitting out at Allied Irish Banks, which he
blamed for Highbury’s failure.

In an interview with the Telegraph, MacKenzie said the bank had been firmly against a refinancing package.

But
following his claim in the same interview that journalists liked being
treated badly – “Basically it’s the mushroom management theory with
hacks. You keep them in the dark and pour lots of s**t all over them” –
staff at Highbury might feel they have reason to be grateful for the
sell-off.

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