Trinity Mirror has announced the biggest Fleet Street lay-off in recent years with 200 jobs to go across the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and People.
Around one in three of those to go are casuals. The staff headcount reduction amounts to around one in four journalists working on the three titles.
National Union of Journalists general secretary Jeremy Dear responded to the news tonight saying: ‘It’s disgraceful that against a background of making more than £70m in profit last year and of paying millions in remuneration to a handful of Trinity mirror execs, the company should now throw more than a quarter of its talented, hardworking workforce onto the scrap heap.
‘A multimedia future without talented, multi-media journalists is a short cut to disaster.
‘This savage package of redundancies is also a stark warning to editorial staff at national, regional and local newspapers all over the country, as they reveal the real, cost-cutting intent behind the introduction of content management systems such as Contentwatch, as used at the Trinity Mirror group and ATEX, as used across Johnston Press.”
The company looks to be replicating the newsroom mergers which have gone on across its regional press divisons – at centres like Liverpool and Birmingham – where hundreds of editorial jobs have been cut in the last few years.
Trinity says that the job cuts follow the announcement of ‘significant investment’and the introduction of ‘ContentWatch”, a web-based content management system.
Trinity claims that the ‘new system and processes enable the production of high quality content across multiple channels while ensuring each title retains its quality, integrity and unique identity”.
The extent of the cutbacks is emphasised by the fact that Trinity Mirror felt it necessary to state in its press release that each national newspaper title will retain its own editor.
Trinity said that elements of the subbing process will be out-sourced and that news and features writing are to be merged into what it calls ‘super pools’of journalists working across all three titles
Daily Mirror editor Richard Wallace said: ‘Our future is a multimedia one and we need to transform ourselves into an agile media business, ready to grasp the opportunities and challenges of the multimedia world we now inhabit.
“Our traditional skills and processes have to change to embrace the emerging platforms and keep our titles in good health. We cannot continue to do what we do in the way that we have always done it. We simply have to evolve in order to keep our historic and world famous newspapers as relevant and successful as when they first launched over 100 years ago.”