Telegraph move met with mixed emotions

By Dominic Ponsford

Telegraph Group journalists have had mixed reactions to news they are to move offices from Canary Wharf back to central London.

Most are believed to be enthusiastic about the move, expected some
time in the summer, to new offices next to Victoria Station – which
will bring them nearer to Westminster, the City and other sources of
news.

But for some the move is less welcome – especially those
who have bought homes east of London and rely on the current ample
parking provision to drive in to work.

The company’s NUJ chapel
was due to meet this Thursday to discuss the move – which was announced
on 21 December. And chapel officials are expected to negotiate with
management over possible compensation packages for those who have to
travel further and to find out whether perks enjoyed at Canary Wharf –
such as a gym and onsite GP – will be continued.

One company
insider said: “There are a lot of people who have never liked being
here and who would much rather be in central London – my guess is that
more people are for it than against it.

From my own point of view
it’s going to be disastrous because from where I live it’s easy to
drive in, but Victoria will involve a much longer train and tube ride.”

A
Telegraph spokesman responded to the concerns, saying that there would
be “communications regarding all these matters with staff in the coming
weeks and months”.

The new Telegraph office is at Victoria Plaza,
on Buckingham Palace Road, and has already been bought by Press
Holdings – a company belonging to Telegraph Group owners the Barclay
brothers. Following the move they are to change the company’s name to
Telegraph Media Group.

Telegraph Group chief executive Murdoch
MacLennan said: “These changes are a clear sign that our business is
moving forward in a positive and dynamic way.

“The new name will
reflect the modern, competitive and diverse nature of our business and
the variety of products – from papers to podcasts – that we have to
offer.

“The move to a state-of-the-art office in the middle of
London will put us right at the centre of the action for business,
commerce and politics. 2006 is going to be an exceptionally exciting
year for the Telegraph.”

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