JPI Media will close eight newsrooms in a regional restructure that will see 34 staff either work remotely or relocated to one of 19 remaining offices.
The move was announced by JPI Media chief executive David King in an internal memo yesterday, two months after Press Gazette reported that the company was putting its property portfolio under review.
JPI Media (formerly Johnston Press) is moving staff based in a further 19 leasehold offices to new shared-working spaces or rented office space. This follows the relocation of the Harrogate Advertiser’s office earlier this month.
Asked if the offices were to be located in the same towns, a spokesperson said staff would be put in nearby locations where possible.
In his message to staff, seen by Press Gazette, King said: “With growing numbers of people already working from home, we recognise the many benefits of agile working practices to both the business and our employees.
“By aligning agile working with the review of our property portfolio, it will help us to retain jobs and sustain titles for the future.”
The eight JPI Media offices set for closure are based in Aylesbury, Banbury, Brighton, Cumbernauld, Horncastle, Kenilworth, Kettering and Luton.
The 19 offices set for relocation are based in Alnwick, Berwick, Blackpool, Burnley, Chesterfield, Chichester, Eastbourne, Grangemouth, Halifax, Horsham, Mansfield, Milton Keynes, Portsmouth, Scarborough, Selkirk, South Shields, Wakefield, Wigan and Worthing.
JPI Media, which bought Johnston Press out of administration last year, is “consolidating” office space in Leeds (pictured) – where the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post news team are based. The office space, which covers two floors, will be reduced, Press Gazette understands.
The company also said it has “sourced alternative sites” for newsrooms in Sunderland, Belfast and Peterborough, according to King.
JPI Media office closures come weeks after rival regional publisher Archant announced it would close five newspaper offices in a bid to save money.
JPI Media owns more than 200 titles including The i newspaper and regional dailies The Scotsman and the Sunderland Echo.
The publisher’s editor-in-chief told staff this month that it was considering putting up paywalls on some of its websites amid advertising revenue concerns.
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