IPC cuts 53 jobs as TV listings move to PA gets the go-ahead

Fifty three jobs have been axed at IPC following the decision to close the programmes department and outsource TV listings to the Press Association.

The move has affected long-serving members of staff on some of the UK’s best known TV titles including What’s On TV, TV Times and TV & Satellite Week.

One hundred staff were warned their jobs were under threat last month when IPC proposed the move and said the listings would be done in parallel with PA as a test run over the summer. Fifty-three of them received letters on Friday telling them the test had been successful and they would have to leave the company by the end of this week.

An internal memo from Philippa Brown, managing director of IPC TX, confirmed that the operation would close on 24 September and staff would be sent a final Q&A answering any remaining questions. The department will be replaced with a team of 18 working with PA.

Sources claimed there was never any question of the listings remaining at IPC, suggesting the move was a cost-cutting exercise which could save the company in the region of £500,000.

Staff are understood to have concerns that standards will drop, leading to an increased workload for the new team.

The listings pages are felt to be a substantial part of the operation and staff fear they are losing control over a major part of the business.

One insider said. “The new department anticipates a heavy workload but it’s too early to say what sort of service will be supplied long term.”

The NUJ said it decided not to fight the move due to apathy among staff.

An NUJ spokesman said: “There was not enough of a groundswell to make any potential action effective.

“It is a sign of the times at IPC, we didn’t get union recognition last year when we had the ballot because of apathy among its journalists.”

IPC media human resources manager Dee Mair said: ” The economic case for the external provision of listings was unarguable.”

By Ruth Addicott

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