Newsquest announces cuts to sports staff in Bradford
10 August 2018
A third of Newsquest’s sports department in Bradford - serving the daily Telegraph & Argus and four weeklies - will be axed under new company plans.
Staff were told that the weeklies sports editor role, together with a sports writer and editor’s PA, would go.
The proposed new structure would leave a sports editor, sports sub editor, Bradford Bulls/Bradford City reporter and sports apprentice to serve the T&A daily title, Keighley News, Wharfdale Observer, Ilkley Gazette and Craven Herald.
The news comes the day after Newsquest’s US parent group, Gannett, reported its second quarter results. The company revealed it had benefited from a $13.2m windfall from changes in the value of the pound in the first six months of this year.
It also said it was giving shareholders an $18.1m dividend payout for the second quarter.
The Bradford announcement also follows on the heels of deep cuts made at its sister Newsquest centre at Darlington which the NUJ said made it potentially an unsafe workplace for staff, given huge stress levels and unsustainable workloads and formally reported by the NUJ chapel last month to managers.
Chris Morley, Northern and Midlands senior organiser, said that those Bradford sports staff put at risk often worked over hours and typically 10-hour days. Their loss would badly reduce overall capacity on the sports desk. Chris added:
"The Union has consistently warned Newsquest that it risked failing in its duty of care by making cuts with no apparent regard to the burden they placed on those remaining.
"The response at Darlington to serious local concerns at new cuts heaped on many that had gone before - as well as the arbitrary axe on critical freelance production help - was totally inadequate.
"These new redundancies at Bradford now also risk an unhealthy workplace with staff being worked into the ground. This is inexcusable when the parent company is enjoying a multi million pound windfall from the currency changes.
"It seems to me that either US bosses are demanding too much from their British workers or the UK managers are failing to stand up for their staff. Either way this is a shoddy deal for Newsquest employees and the communities they are trying to provide a professional news service for."