19 jobs shed as two Johnston Press-owned Yorkshire dailies merge their editorial teams

By Hamish Mackay |

June 18, 2012 | 2 min read

As many as 19 editorial jobs are to be lost as two Johnston Press-owned dailies - the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post - merge their editorial teams following the decision to combine the two Leeds-based newspapers under a single editor-in-chief - Peter Charlton.

Nine voluntary redundancies are thought to have already been accepted with a further ten being sought.

A memo to staff said the changes would address the duplication of roles and achieve greater efficiencies, while maintaining a differentiation between the two titles.

Johnston Press chief operating officer Danny Cammiade said: “Following a strategic review of the Yorkshire Evening Post and Yorkshire Post editorial operation, it is proposed to combine these two departments into one team.

“Working in this way will allow the company to address he duplication of jobs covered while still allowing each newspaper to develop in its own right. Our plan allows for title differentiation with some key journalists working exclusively for one product.”

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Media website, HoldTheFrontPage, reports that the NUJ, which estimates the changes will save Johnston Press £600,000 a year in wages, has already condemned the plan.

Joint FOC and office branch chairman Peter Lazenby is quoted as saying: “One again Johnston Press is responding to its financial situation with a policy of slash and burn.

“We know that regional newspapers are in decline, but the situation at Johnston Press has been vastly exacerbated by financial incompetence, mismanagement and bad judgement at the most senior levels of management.

“Over a period of years the editorial workforce at the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post has fallen by half. Circulations are in steady decline. The sacking of staff will simply reduce the quality of our papers and hasten their decline.”

General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet added: “These cuts will have a disastrous impact on journalism and demonstrate the glaring weakness in the strategy Johnston Press is banking on to claw the company back out its self-inflicted debt.

“Without quality journalism and properly resourced titles, the company has no chance of reviving its fortunes.”

There are believed to be around 125 editorial staff currently at both papers with the NUJ asserting that the proposed job cuts represent 15% of the workforce.

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