NUJ fears 20 journalists will go in Standard-Independent merger moves

The National Union of Journalists fears that 20 jobs will be cut amid plans to further merge the Lebedev-owned Independent titles and the Evening Standard.

It was revealed yesterday that cost cuts are needed to curb continuing losses at the Independent titles and to pay for the investment needed launch a local TV station for London – planned for late next year.

The Independent on Sunday’s 30-strong editorial team is to be merged with that of the Monday to Saturday edition and editor John Mullin has been made redundant.

NUJ deputy general secretary Barry Fitzpatrick said: “Today’s announcement presents a huge challenge to the journalists working for all of the titles owned by the Lebedevs.

“Our members will want to be encouraged by the more positive aspects of the plan but will fear that once again it is journalist jobs that are being sacrificed. Already there has been what appears to be one senior departure.

“The union expects a detailed justification for the cuts together with meaningful consultation about the impact for editorial content and quality.

 “The Lebedev family has given promises about their commitment to quality journalism which we assume apply to the TV Licence that has been granted. We expect to fully engage with the company in the coming weeks over the details of proposals and we are determined to ensure that this is not a hasty race to the bottom on job losses and quality of content.”

 The Independent titles and the Evening Standard currently employ around 300 journalists between them.

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