Seven senior reporters at Trinity Mirror‘s Celtic newspaper series have been issued with compulsory redundancy notices.
When they leave the company next month six senior reporters and five trainees will be left to cover the seven weekly titles. The cuts are part of plans unveiled last month to axe 22 editorial jobs, including eight from production and four from sport, as Media Wales moves to a single production team for news and features across the Western Mail, South Wales Echo, Wales on Sunday, and the Celtic series.
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Media Wales’ most recent financial figures, for the 2009 financial year, show a 24 per cent drop in turnover to £36.4m and an 84 per cent fall in profit from £12.9m to £2.1m. The local NUJ branch ruled out taking industrial action after it was given more up-to-date financial information on a confidential basis, but it is now pressuring management to produce a rescue strategy for the group’s newspapers.
‘We want to see a strategy for the future of the company to make sure this place keeps going,’said father of chapel Martin Shipton. ‘The level of cuts are such that members are speculating about the future of the company.’
Last year Trinity made four editors redundant on the Celtic newspapers, replacing them with a single editor-in-chief. In 2009 Trinity closed district offices in Aberdare, Ebbw Vale and Neath and split production of the papers between the remaining offices in Merthyr, Bridgend and Pontypridd. This was followed by the closure of the the Neath and Port Talbot Guardian titles.
In September the National Assembly for Wales will launch an investigation into the state of the Welsh media in response to widespread job cuts in both the press and broadcasting.
Earlier this week it was reported that Trinity is set to increase its cost savings target from £15m to around £25m this year, with fears that more job could cuts would be likely.