Northcliffe looks set follow Johnston Press by asking reporters to write directly on to page templates, eliminating around 50 staff nationwide.
According to Holdthefrontpage between 50 and 70 roles could go as cutbacks hit the group’s centralised subbing production centres. According to HTFP the changes place in question the centralised subbing ‘hubs’ in Plymouth, Stoke and Nottingham – as some production roles are taken back to local centres.
South West regional editorial director Alan Qualtrough told HTFP: “We are still operating in very tough times. Revenues have not returned in any shape or form to what we expected and we have to reduce our operating costs accordingly. We had reduced costs considerably last year by creating the hubs but we now need to move forward even further.”
The latest changes come just six months after a massive shake-up of production at Northcliffe’s West Country titles, including the Western Daily Press and Western Morning News, with more than 30 jobs going.
In 2009, Northcliffe made an operating profit of £14m on revenue down 9 per cent to £150m.
In a trading update last month, Northcliffe said that revenue for its regionals business was down six per cent year on year.
Press Gazette is awaiting a comment from Northcliffe head office.
Over the last two years around one in five editorial jobs have been axed across all the major regional newspaper publishers.
Recent figures from Newsquest revealed that it cut 300 editorial jobs in 2009.