Independent titles to make 27 more journalists redundant ahead of comment-focused relaunch

The Independent titles are to make 27 editorial staff redundant in a new wave of job losses at the group.

The compulsory redundancies will cut across the Independent, Independent on Sunday and the i’s current 190-strong editorial team, with those whose jobs are under threat due to be told later this afternoon.

Chris Blackhurst, group content director of the Independent titles, said the job losses were “purely about saving money” as the group sought to reduce its losses.

He said The Independent's losses had nearly halved in the last two years, and are expected to be £11.8 million this year, but that more savings needed to be found. In the year to September 2012 the Independent titles reported an operating loss of £16.6m.

“We are a privately-funded group and we are facing the same problems as other newspapers,” Blackhurst told Press Gazette.

The redundancies will be spread across reporting and production roles, but reporters are expected to bear the brunt of the cuts.

Earlier this year, it was thought that the threat of compulsory job losses had passed when the integration of the Independent’s daily and Sunday edition newsrooms resulted in 15 voluntary redundancies.

Blackhurst said that the group would also be hiring 20 new staff to work on the Independent’s website, with nine new jobs to be created in the very near future.

The changes come ahead of an expected relaunch of the paper in the autumn following Blackhurst’s move to his current job and the promotion of former Independent Voices editor Amol Rajan to the editor’s chair.

Blackhurst said it “will be a very different paper” focusing on “commentary and analysis”.

The latest job cuts come ahead of the planned launch of a new TV station called London Live run out of the Independent and Evening Standard newsroom. It is planned that the TV station will draw on existing editorial resources.

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