Newsquest to lay off production staff at Newport and Weymouth subbing hubs

South Wales Argus

A large number of production staff are facing redundancy across Newsquest’s subbing hubs in Newport and Weymouth.

The regional publisher has said it anticipated fewer than 20 full-time-equivalent staff (FTEs) would be affected across both offices.

An inside source has told Press Gazette the company is looking to reduce 59 FTEs down to 40.

A Newsquest spokesperson said: “Improvements in work flow have reduced the need for as many copy editors in the copy editing hubs, and therefore a consultation has been started about a possible reduction in staff numbers.”

The consultation is said to end on 15 September.

The Newport production hub was established in 2013, moving titles from Worcester where a hub had been set up three years earlier.

A Newsquest spokesperson told Press Gazette at the time: “The company has invested in a new editorial system in Wales and Gloucestershire region.

“This gives us greater flexibility, improves our news gathering facilities, and provides staff with upgraded equipment to better meet the ever-changing needs of our business.

“The system provides a more streamlined workflow for the production of pages, along with direct interfaces with our digital platforms.”

In 2015, Newsquest created the subbing hub in Weymouth, moving 14 production staff in Newsquest London, based in Watford, about 140 miles to the Dorset office.

Newspapers produced in Newport include paid-for daily The South Wales Argus, paid-for weeklies the Barry & District News, Free Press and the Penarth Times as well as free weekly Campaign.

The South Wales Argus has an average total circulation of 11,475, according to up-to-date ABC figures. Campaign distributes an average total of 20,498 copies per week.

The Free press has an average total circulation of 4,061 copies, the Barry & District News 3,600 copies and the Penarth Times 3,740 copies, according to ABC figures.

Titles produced in the Weymouth office include paid-for dailies the Dorset Echo (11,293 copies) and the Bournemouth Daily Echo (15,370 copies).

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