Jobs under threat at Northern Echo, warns NUJ

Eight jobs are under threat at Newsquest‘s Northern Echo as a result of plan to merge its subbing team with that of its sister weekly papers.

The National Union of Journalists has warned the proposed job cuts include axing two sub editors, a reporter, an assistant editor, a production editor, a website assistant, a librarian and a graphic designer.

All remaining subs will be required to apply for new jobs in the pooled subbing team which works in three separate shifts.

Newsquest North East claims the changes are part of an efficiency drive that will save it £130,000 a year, according to the union.

Chris Morley, NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser, said: “The attack on editorial quality at a flagship centre like the Northern Echo through continued, deep and damaging job cuts shows the company’s disdain for hard working staff…

“It is also clear Newsquest has no concern for quality journalism and the long-term future of its titles.

“Newsquest is too pre-occupied with servicing the massive debt [parent company] Gannett built up to buy the UK group – Manchester United-style – and putting money into US shareholders’ pockets.

“Our members are the company’s best assets and they are sick of being treated with contempt with a seemingly endless pay freeze and other constant attacks on their terms and conditions by a management that appears to view its staff as an enemy.

“The NUJ will not stand by idly if members are picked on to be forced out of their jobs.”

The Northern Echo has yet to return a request for comment.

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