Independent regional publisher CN Group has proposed cutting up to 29 jobs and implementing a company-wide pay freeze to ensure financial stability in the coming year.
Employees across the company, which has newspapers in Cumbria, Northumberland and Scotland, were briefed by management today about the threat of redundancies.
Staff cuts of 12-16 posts are expected at Cumbrian Newspapers, which is based in Carlisle, while 10-13 staff jobs are expected to go from its Furness Newspapers business, which is based in Barrow.
Robin Burgess, chief executive of CN Group, said: ‘2010 was not a good year for our business, advertising revenues overall continued to fall although not as sharply as in 2009.
‘This along with a 22 per cent increase in the price of the paper we print on has meant we have to further cut our costs to ensure we remain a viable business.”
Opportunities to grow the business did exist, Burgess said, but the company needed to ensure its ‘core local newspaper, digital and radio businesses are sound.”
He added: ‘Each of our operating units has had to review how they operate and come to their own decision as to the best way forward.
‘We are now consulting about the potential redundancies and we anticipate these covering 12-16 roles at Cumbrian Newspapers and 10-13 roles at Furness Newspapers.
‘These decisions are very sad and difficult for a group such as ours.
‘We regret having to take them and the affect it will have on the lives of those involved.
‘We have tried to keep the numbers to a minimum both to minimise the affect on our staff as well as keeping the quality of our output up to the standard our readers and listeners expect.”