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Experienced staff to go at Standard to "reach savings targets"

9 January 2015

The Evening Standard is to cut between ten and 20 jobs; mainly senior staff and columnists, "to reach savings targets".

The Guardian reported that those affected are understood to include feature writer Nick Curtis, literary writer Katie Law, arts editor Fiona Hughes and Matthew Beard, transport editor and former London Olympics editor.

Many of the staff were told the news when they returned from a lunch-time service at St Mary Abbots church, near the Evening Standard’s offices in Kensington, west London, for the murdered Charlie Hebdo journalists.

Sarah Sands, the newspaper's editor, said the cuts were to reach savings targets, but also promised investment.

A letter from Steve Aukland, group CEO, said:

"The Evening Standard has begun a consultation process with a small number of editorial employees whose roles might be at risk of redundancy. Like every business, we constantly review our operations and these planned changes will enable investment in growth areas of the Evening Standard and its distribution. The Evening Standard is profitable and these changes will maintain and improve that position."

There was speculation that losses at London Live, the local TV channel also owned by the Standard's proprietor, Evgeny Lebedev, have been part of the cause of the cuts.

Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said:

"The Standard has touted itself as a success story, but its lifeblood is the journalists who deliver high quality coverage daily for London’s readers. Cutting experienced, dedicated editorial staff and looking at cheaper alternatives is not the answer. The company should commit to a genuine meaningful consultation process to look at different options including their investment plans and to make sure overstretched staff are not asked to pick up the pieces.”

The NUJ is also concerned that there will be implications for those who remain and potentially for the Independent which shares offices and editorial roles with the Standard. There appears to be no plan for covering work for those going, apart from mention of  junior staff, interns or freelances.

Tags: , evening standard, local campaign, local tv, newspapers, cuts, redundancies, independent, sarah sands