Tindle Newspapers is planning to consolidate two weekly newspapers to help “future proof” its business, which could result in several redundancies.
Editorial staff at the Forester, and the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review, both in Gloucestershire, are being consulted over the plans.
Attracta Astley, managing director for Somerset and Forest of Dean at Tindle, said: “The publishing industry, as we all know, is experiencing challenging times and, like our peers, we are looking for the best options to future proof our businesses.
“The Forester and Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review have entered into a consultation process with a view to the possible consolidation of the two papers.
“All staff will be very much part of the consultation process and every option explored.”
Hold the Front Page has reported five staff could be made redundant across both titles, including one of the papers’ editors, although Tindle would not confirm the numbers.
It is understood the merger would see both titles located in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review’s office in Lydney, with the Forester’s office nine miles away in Cinderford likely to close.
Jenni Phillips, who used to work for The Forester and is now what’s on and social media editor at Reach-owned Gloucestershire Live, said on Twitter the merger would be a “huge shame” but added her old paper was “a shadow of what it used to be”.
Phillips added: “In the current climate of print sales etc. you can see why Tindle would consider a merger but they are two different species. And I can’t help think that if the Forester has focused on true local reporting it wouldn’t be struggling. The Forest is once of the richest news patches.”