Trinity Mirror axes 25 journalists on Midlands titles and calls for 'more agile ways of working'

Trinity Mirror has announced it is cutting 25 Midlands jobs as part of a newsroom restructure as it aims to become "truly digitally focused".

The National Union of Journalists has condemned the 19 cuts in Birmingham (pictured, Shutterstock) and six in Coventry.

Titles published by Trinity Mirror in the Midlands include the Birmingham Mail and the Coventry Telegraph.

According to the union, staff were told in a letter: "These proposed changes are based on an evaluation of the rate of growth of our digital audiences, demand for digital content and the level of content we need for our printed editions.

"In the restructured newsroom, each and every member of the team will be fully focused on building their digital audience and therefore their contribution to our digital growth.

"The emphasis will be on a flatter management structure, multi-skilled teams and more agile ways of working."

Chris Morley, the NUJ's Northern and Midlands Organiser, said: "There is no disguising quite how devastating and demoralising this announcement will be for journalists in Birmingham and Coventry. It is yet another big slice of the Midlands' editorial workforce to go following a series of similar sized cuts since 2008.

"It is particularly paradoxical to note the axe is poised over 'content gathering' roles. We were all told that under the digital revolution content is king. Why do you need fewer journalists to produce content for digital audiences?

"We will leave no stone unturned with management to find a better outcome and maximise the number of journalists who still retain a livelihood with Trinity Mirror in the Midlands. We expect the company to be ready and willing to hear the ideas and alternatives from our members as the process unfolds."

The NUJ said it will now be consulting with the affected chapels.

Trinity Mirror said in a statement: "We have today announced a proposed restructure of our newsrooms in Coventry and Birmingham, to continue the progress we have already made in becoming truly digitally focused and to help us revitalise our print products.
 
"These proposed changes would result in some roles being lost, from content gathering and management teams, although a number could be voluntary redundancies.
 
"We remain committed to daily print publishing and are maintaining our print portfolio. We will be revitalising the Birmingham Mail and Coventry Telegraph in the coming months to appeal to a wider audience."

Trinity Mirror Midlands managing director Simon Edgley said: "The proposals we have shared with colleagues today are quite significant in the change in structure we need to equip ourselves as a flexible, multi-skilled newsroom of the future. The decision taken to implement these proposals has not been taken lightly, it is necessary for us to adapt to commercial challenges and provide a structure that gives longer term sustainability of the business."

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