Newsquest has revealed plans to cut another 12 journalism jobs in the North West of England.
This time the weekly Warrington Guardian is going to face the brunt of the cuts.
- October 19, 2020
- September 25, 2020
- August 7, 2020
The move comes just weeks after plans were announced to cut ten jobs from the daily Bolton News.
Last year Newsquest reported operating profit of £3.4m on its titles in the North West on total turnover of £29.3m.
The latest proposed cuts could see three editorial assistants go, as well as a web editor, social media editor, four photographers, two commercial features writers and two content editors.
According to the NUJ, the only photographer and one of two reporters are to be made redundant at the Sale and Altrincham Messenger.
One production editor job is reportedly set to be created.
The Warrington Guardian sells just over 17,000 copies a week at a cover price of £1.
The Sale and Altrincham Messenger has a free distribution of just over 40,000 copies per week.
According to the NUJ, Newsquest cut 30 editorial jobs on its titles in the North West last year.
A Warrington Guardian NUJ chapel spokesperson said: "It's clear local management don't want to make these cuts and it is being imposed on them by an editorial director whose entire remit seems to be cutting costs rather than improving our products.
“Under the guise of 'making us more efficient for the web' , he has cut our two internet specialists and insisted on savage cuts that will make it incredibly difficult to give our readers in print or online a quality product. It will also create an unbearable workload for the colleagues who remain."
Warrington North MP Helen Jones said: “This is very worrying news and shows how difficult it is to keep local newspapers going. The Warrington Guardian is well respected and plays an important role in our community. These job losses will inevitably mean increased workloads for staff and have an impact on the quality of the paper.”
NUJ Northern and Midlands organiser Jane Kennedy said: "This is a yet another savage attack on its workforce by Newsquest. Staff are completely stunned by this announcement. The Warrington Guardian is an award-winning newspaper with hardworking and dedicated journalists. Their only reward is either the dole queue or a massive increase of their workload, just weeks before Christmas.
"The company is in profit and this treatment contrasts sharply with the massive bonuses the executives have paid themselves. It is a terrible message for the managers to send to their workforce and the communities they serve. How can quality be maintained after such huge cuts in staffing? NUJ members at the Bolton News, who faced a similar announcement two weeks ago, voted unanimously to ballot for action to oppose these redundancies and the resulting increased workload created for colleagues who remain at the paper.
"The NUJ hopes Newsquest responds favourably to our request to meet with us urgently to find a better solution for the all these titles in the North West."