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One in three TV listing jobs to go at PA

19 January 2015

Up to 27 jobs are at risk at the TV listing department of Press Association's Howden centre, Yorkshire.

This is equivalent to one in three jobs in the TV content and pages section of the agency. The company plans to cut:

  • 16 posts from TV content
  • 8 posts in TV Pages
  • 3 posts in weather/finance.

The units affected produce TV listings in printed form for clients including the Sun, Times, Sunday Times, Guardian, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and Radio Times. The company's initial announcement said it wants to cut these jobs owing to "producing more content than is required by our customers" and a "need to streamline our processes".

The rationale is that individual content staff will be responsible for "checking and signing off their own content" as will many of those who produce pages and where quality control is still deemed necessary.

PA claimed some quality control measures will be retained. The plans do not include capacity to accommodate holidays, sickness or other absence, so staff would be required to work overtime to cope with demand.

The company claimed:

"These changes will not have an impact our customers, who will continue to receive the same quality of service they have come to expect from us."

Chris Morley, Northern and Midlands organiser, said:

"This is a savage blow to a big proportion of staff at the Howden centre and came very much out of the blue. If the cuts are carried out in full, I would seriously doubt PA's claims about the redundancies not having an impact on the quality of service.
"PA's reputation has been built on accuracy and attention to detail, but this plan would leave so much up to badly-stretched staff that the likelihood of serious mistakes must surely increase. Getting a TV time wrong will soon get picked up by readers.
"Those who remain will be in an impossible position, trying to maintain the quality output that has been their professional hallmark for so long. Those who end up dismissed will find themselves out of work at a time when the jobs market within the media industry is on lean times.
"This once again shows that PA staff are not immune to finding themselves in the line of fire and that they would benefit from strong union representation in the workplace. We will be advising our members throughout the consultation process to try to achieve the best possible outcome for them."

Tags: , press association, howden, TV listings, cuts, redundancies, news agencies