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NUJ reaction to Archant group shedding 17 posts

4 November 2016

Archant has announced changes to its content operation which could result in the loss of up to 57 jobs and the creation of 40 new roles. Design and production of the company’s newspapers will be separated from the content creation function with a centralised production unit in Norwich responsible for all print titles.

Archant publishes 50 weekly newspapers the south of England and four East Anglian dailies: the Eastern Daily Press, Ipswich Star, East Anglian Daily Times and the Norwich Evening News.

Andy Smith, NUJ national executive member, said:

“We are extremely concerned by the news of the proposed job losses at Archant.
"The union has yet to meet Archant management formally to discuss the proposals, but the there is little in the reported statements from Jeff Henry, chief executive, or Matt Kelly, chief content officer,to indicate how moving to an ‘audience first’ approach can justify the loss of at least 17 jobs.
"Putting 57 staff at risk of redundancy, particularly at this time of year, will be incredibly stressful for them all, and our first responsibility is to support our members through this process. Though the consultation is at a very early stage, it is difficult to see how these proposals can have any other effect than to impose more work and more stress on an already overburdened staff still coming to terms with the effects of the photographer redundancies made earlier this year.”

Quoted in the Press Gazette, Matt Kelly said: “Editing the newspaper will be done with a very light touch from title editors – I do not want editors spending hours deciding between the page 9 and page 15 leads, or coping with the perennial last minute need for dozens of fillers to complete news pages.” He said the new “content rooms” will be “less hierarchical” under the proposed changes.

Tags: , local news matters, local newspapers, archant, cuts