Journalists out as Bailey ?nalises Trinity review

By Dominic Ponsford

Trinity Mirror is making journalists redundant on Merseyside and is planning to close the library and copytaking departments at its two Scottish national newspapTrinity Trinity Mirror is making journalists redundant on Merseyside and is planning to close the library and copytaking departments at its two Scottish national newspapers.

The moves come as chief executive Sly Bailey nears the end of her strategic review of the company.

The changes at Liverpool mainly affect the Merseymart and Star series of five free weeklies which have a combined distribution of 180,000 copies.

From 30 August, Merseymart’s Allerton Road editorial office will close and the newspapers will instead be produced in the same building as the Liverpool Echo.

The positions of editor, news editor and three reporters are being made redundant and staff have been invited to apply for two new jobs: news editor and community reporter. Previously the titles have had at least one reporter each.

A source inside Merseymart said: “We were all a bit shocked to say the least. I think it’s fair to say the quality of stories which the newspapers are renowned for will suffer and gone will be the days of a good free, weekly paper being produced.”

A Trinity Mirror spokesman said the move was part of an “editorial process improvement project” covering all the company’s papers in the North West. Overall, he said, nine fulltime and one part-time post would go across the region, but eight new jobs were being created.

He added: “The changes are aimed at improving the ef.ciency of the department and will free up the talent in the editorial team to concentrate on creating even stronger editorial products.”

At the Daily Record and Sunday Mail in Glasgow 20 workers are facing compulsory redundancy.

Trinity Mirror has told employees it is planning to close the library and move it to Watford and outsource copytaking to Press Association Copy Direct.

Members of the Graphical Print and Media Union are currently balloting on whether to take strike action over the changes.

NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran said: “A lot of people are concerned about the implications for the quality of the product and also about the difficulties these changes are going to create for our members in doing their job.”

A Trinity Mirror spokesman said: “The changes at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail are about providing a better service to editorial. The object is to correct in efficiencies in the organisation in order to protect and develop the market position of our established titles.”

Bailey is expected to announce a wide-ranging shake up of Trinity Mirror when the company’s interim results are announced on Thursday.

According to some reports, her strategic review will include shedding several hundred non-editorial jobs and the sell-off of Trinity’s Northern Ireland newspapers.

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