Northcliff restructure involves redundancies and paper closures
3 April 2014
Plans by Northcliffe to restructure newspaper titles could further weaken a local media already in crisis. The plans follow the collapse of the proposed sale of Kent Regional News and Media to Kent Messenger Group.
The announcement, which would see the two weeklies titles closing by Friday 9 December, the merging of weekly papers and the cutting of free papers, comes after some daily Northcliffe titles have been turned into weeklies, and will lead to redundancies.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
"The Northcliffe model of media ownership takes a sledgehammer approach to local news provision. Northcliffe has inflicted cut after cut, trampling over quality journalism and local democracy in the process. If these plans go ahead yet another community will be denied their local paper."
Don Mackglew, NUJ Assistant Organiser, said
"Northcliffe's announcement could have great repercussions for the regional press. We have already seen in the last couple of weeks announcements of closures of regional titles across the Midlands and the North West and now it is happening into the heartland of Kent. How many more titles will disappear over the next 12 months?
"The morale of the journalists at KRNM is already low since the proposed sale was announced in the summer and the uncertainty when the sale fell through, and this latest announcement now puts jobs at risk."
A NUJ union meeting is being held on Monday 28 November and talks with management will take place on Friday.