Seven jobs under threat as Archant axes weekly

Archant’s Herts & Cambs division has announced the closure of its weekly Scene series with the loss of up to seven editorial jobs.

Archant launched the four-edition Scene series last year to replace the loss-making Herald series, and around 55,000 mainly free copies were distributed across East Hertfordshire and West Essex. The new title was described at launch as adopting a “newszine” approach.

The Scene series was distributed in Harlow, Broxbourne, Hertford and Ware and Stortford and replaced the Harlow Herald and the East Herts Herald.

Editorial director Paul Richardson blamed rising costs for the closure and insisted no publications in the Archant Herts & Cambs portfolio were under threat.

‘Continuing tough market conditions and increasing business costs, including a 25 per cent year-on-year increase in newsprint prices, have meant the management team at Archant Herts & Cambs decided to focus resources on other titles in the portfolio to improve performance in areas where its market position is stronger,’he said.

‘The closure means seven editorial jobs have been identified at risk of redundancy and consultation with those affected has begun. We are hopeful that most of those affected can be found alternative employment within the organisation.’

He continued: ‘No other publications in the Archant Herts & Cambs portfolio are affected by these moves, and we will be focussing our efforts in Herts on our local market-leading titles including the Welwyn Hatfield Times, Herts Advertiser and Comet series as well as the website.

‘Archant’s commitment to other marketplaces remains unchanged and the company will continue to produce quality print titles and websites that are market-leading.”

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