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Newsquest announce more journalist redundancies across London

© NUJ

13 May 2015

Newsquest announce job cuts, redundancies and restructuring in London. Newsquest is one of the UK's largest regional newspaper publishers with more than 200 newspapers, magazines and trade publications, including 17 dailies.

The company have announced plans to restructure and reduce costs following a review of the editorial departments across all South London titles.

The company plans to merge the South West London and South East London editorial departments, close the Petts Wood office and ask reporters to work remotely. 

The newspaper titles affected include: The Croydon Guardian, Sutton Guardian, Epsom Guardian, Wimbledon Guardian, Wandsworth Guardian, Balham and Tooting Guardian, Mitcham and Morden Guardian, Kingston Guardian, Surrey Comet, Elmbridge Comet, and the Richmond & Twickenham Times. The News Shopper series has editions in Dartford, Lewisham, Greenwich, Gravesend, Bexley and Bromley.

The plans including the following posts at risk of redundancy: Group Editor, Editor, Deputy Editor, Assistant Editor, News Editor, Editorial Assistants, Online Commercial Content Developer, Deputy News Editor, Assistant News Editor, Chief Reporters and Senior Sports Roles.

As part of the cuts:

  • The posts of Group Editor, Editor, Deputy Editor, Assistant Editor, and News Editor, would be considered for the position of Deputy Group Managing Editor. A proposed cut of 5 jobs to one.
  • The two senior Sports roles in South East London and South West London will be considered for the position of Content Editor (Sports). This is a cut from two jobs to one.
  • The proposals including reducing the number of Editorial Assistants from two jobs to one.
  • The Online Commercial Content Developer, Deputy News Editor, Assistant News Editor, and Chief Reporters jobs will be cut.

The company claims there are 11 vacancies within the proposed re-structure for Newsquest South London. Those at risk of redundancy will be considered for six Content Editor (News) jobs, four Reporter (News) jobs and one Sports Reporter job.  

On the South West London papers, the reporting staff appears to reduce from 16 to 13 (excluding Content Editors).

The new structure is proposed to take effect from Friday 26 June 2015.

A statement from the South London NUJ chapel said:

"The chapel rejects the company's proposals to restructure the South London editorial department and to place positions under threat of redundancy.
"The chapel has warned the company that investment, not cost efficiencies, are required to make the business competitive in the long term and maintain quality. It has also warned the company on several occasions that cutting staff is making working conditions perilous and that urgent action is required to rectify this."

Laura Davison, NUJ national organiser, said:

"The South London NUJ chapel has a determined record of standing up for local quality journalism. They won't simply sit by and see their papers damaged by cuts driven from above which will leave journalists even more over stretched and readers and advertisers worse off. The NUJ is arguing for a short sharp government inquiry into the local press to look at alternatives to the endless cutbacks. This should now be a top priority for the new Culture Secretary in government."

Tags: , newsquest, london, newspapers, cuts, redundancies, restructure, local news matters, the croydon guardian, sutton guardian, epsom guardian, wimbledon guardian, kingston guardian, surrey comet, elmbridge comet, richmond and twickenham times, news shopper, dartford, lewisham, greenwich, gravesend, bexley, bromley