Independent staff told of compulsory redundancies

About 20 journalists at the Independent and Independent on Sunday are understood to have been served with compulsory redundancy notices.

Three sources at the publisher have told Press Gazette that Independent editor Roger Alton held a series of individual meetings with affected staff yesterday.

Press Gazette understands that Henry Deedes, the editor of the Pandora diary column, is among those to be leaving.

In an email to staff last night, Independent and Independent on Sunday managing editor Imogen Haddon said: “We have now spoken to the individuals at risk of redundancy and we would like to let you know that, if you have not been spoken to now, your job is not at risk.

“I am very sorry that this is such a difficult time for everyone.”

Press Gazette understands that the journalists targeted for compulsory cuts, about 20, have been invited to a further meeting today to discuss their options.

A number of those on the “at-risk” list are likely to appeal.

Independent News and Media announced in November that it was cutting 90 jobs from its national newspaper division, with 60 in editorial, to save £10m.

About two thirds of the National Union of Journalists members at the Independent titles voted in favour of strike action in a ballot last month.

Some staff are also upset at the move from Canary Wharf, east London, to Associated Newspapers‘ headquarters in Kensington, west London, which is due to take place next month.

The Independent – which increased its cover price to £1 last year – has seen its circulation plummet in recent years.

According to ABC, its average daily circulation in February was 205,964 – down 18.41 per cent year on year.

The Independent on Sunday’s circulation in the same period was down 21.28 per cent to 179,487.

Independent News and Media is expecting its 2009 group profits to be about 10 per cent down on last year.

The company is due to publish its end-of-year results on 31 March.

Independent editor Roger Alton and managing editor Imogen Haddon were approached by Press Gazette for a response yesterday, but had not responded by the time of publication.

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