Two more Trinity Mirror titles to fold
5 February 2015
Two Trinity Mirror titles – the Formby Times and Crosby Herald – are to close from the end of March.
As part of the proposal, the company intends to cut one of five reporter roles working on the five Merseyside stable of weekly titles, produced in Liverpool, which include the Herald and Times.
The management also proposes to cut two photographer roles from Liverpool and Chester by merging the two picture operations. There are currently four photographers in Liverpool and two in Chester. The remaining photographers will be based in Liverpool.
Chester would be covered photographically only for major events, such as the Chester races or the Chester Rock Music Festival. Richard Williamson, executive editor print production, Trinity Mirror Merseyside, said that he envisaged an increase in the number of pictures submitted by readers.
In his a message to staff, he said:
"Our strategy is to continue to publish the much-loved paid-for titles, The Southport Visiter and the Ormskirk and Skelmersdale Advertisers, and to re-launch the Midweek Visiter as a Sefton-wide superfree that will provide a comprehensive regional service to both readers and advertisers in print. Unfortunately, we are today announcing our intention to close the Crosby Herald and Formby Times at the end of March. Both titles have a long and proud history and this decision is made with huge reluctance and in the knowledge that it will be accompanied by significant disappointment."
One "community content curator" role will also go from the six currently based in Liverpool. The curators are responsible for gathering community information from the web and maintain content on the company's website.
A Trinity Mirror Merseyside chapel rep said:
"Members are very concerned about the reduction in photographers. We don't see this as a way forward; they are already stretched to breaking point, without having to cover Chester as well. That would mean a 40-minute drive to get there at the very least and probably an hour."
Chris Morley, Northern and Midlands organiser said:
"The roll call of fine newspapers that have ceased to be gets ever longer with this announcement. It is a loss that everyone needs to sit up and take notice of. When a newspaper goes, another light in the community goes out.
"Again, the relentless trend to eliminate professional staff photographers continues to the detriment of quality. It puts newspapers and websites at the mercy of vested interests, who submit free pictures they want published, or the chance that witnesses to news events pass on free photos, to fill the gap of proper, trained photographers who know their patch.
"Journalists' jobs are at the same time being created by Trinity Mirror at Merseyside, so we would be clear that any reporter put at risk by these proposals should be able to transfer across to prevent redundancies. I remain to be convinced that leaving Chester without any professional photographer is either a sound or safe move."