Trinity Mirror cuts jobs and closes offices in North-East

Trinity Mirror has announced 28 redundancies across the publisher’s titles in Newcastle and Middlesbrough and the closure of five offices as the company moves towards a multimedia newsroom.

The company said today that 23 editorial jobs would be cut at its Newcastle centre, with a further five going in Middlesbrough.

Trinity Mirror is creating a single integrated newsroom for the Chronicle, the Journal and the Sunday Sun in Newcastle, and a a central production unit.

This means that both photographers and reporters will be trained to produce multimedia output.

The creation of a new multimedia desk, a reorganisation of the management structure and a “streamlined production process” will also be put in place in Teesside, Trinity Mirror said.

It said the introduction of new technology and the possibility of remote working means that the offices in the North East will be consolidated into four main offices – Newcastle, Teesside, Hexham and Bedlington.

The publisher’s offices in Guisborough, Stockton, Redcar, Durham and North Shields will be closing and consultations with staff affected by this have started today.

Regional managing director of Trinity Mirror North East Steve Brown said: ‘Today we announce a series of proposed measures to ensure that our companies in the North East ride out this economic downturn and best position ourselves for when conditions improve.

‘These proposals reflect the senior management team’s determination to do the best thing for the business overall and to respond pragmatically to the exceptional economic circumstances that we are now facing.’

According to the National Union of Journalists, journalists in Newcastle claim that the cuts will be compounded by the fact that there are currently around 12 vacant editorial posts that have not been filled by the company.

NUJ northern regional organiser Chris Morley said: “We are not convinced that all of these cuts could be found through voluntary means and the chapel has already given notice that compulsory redundancies will be resisted.

‘However, given the current outlook for the industry the chapel will be looking to work with the company to minimise the impact on journalistic jobs and the titles they produce.”

Anthony Vickers, NUJ father of chapel at the Middlesbrough Gazette, added that that his chapel’s priority would be to maintain the titles’ independence.

He said: ‘We value the independence of the titles first and foremost and our concerns are not just with the jobs but also our ability to produce the best paper possible and to do the best job that we can do for our community.”

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