More cutbacks in newspaper sector
Record and Mail cuts staff in operations shake-up
Twenty journalists will be axed from the Scottish titles which include the Sunday Mail, Paisley Daily Express, the scotlandnow.com website, Business Insider and a number of weekly and bi-weekly local newspapers. Media Scotland has a total editorial headcount of 311.
Among those leaving will be head of content Steve Martin.
Design flexibility will be restricted by new templated pages, and the national papers will be reduced to one edition.
In an email to staff, managing director Alan Rennie, said: “Like all media companies we face revenue declines in print advertising and circulation. While we have made excellent progress in mitigating those declines through digital revenue growth we still face business challenges and it is important to manage our costs.”
He said that most of the jobs to go were management and production. The details are as follows:
- Three jobs are at risk in the design studio
- The back bench management subs on the Daily Record are set to be cut from three to two
- The regional subbing operation is set to lose its production editor, designer and sports sub – with the roles replaced by one head of production
- Three subs on the Daily Record and Sunday Mail will be replaced with multimedia journalists
- One sports writer is to be cut from the Daily Record and Sunday Mail
- The roles of editor and news editor of the Paisley Daily Express will merged
Rennie said: “We have endeavoured to inform all potentially directly-impacted staff before this announcement that their jobs could be at risk. We will be consulting with the NUJ and individuals over the next 30 days.
“We understand that it is a challenge to produce award-winning newspapers papers with fewer staff. So it is important we all do what we can to streamline workloads.
“The Record and Sunday Mail will move to a single Scottish edition structure with the exception of regional adverts. We will retain the capacity for slips up until 12.30am – for instance in the event of a major news story.
“With fewer people, there will be fewer checks. Reporters and writers need to produce copy fit for online in the first instance and which requires the absolute minimum intervention from production for print and digital.
“The main focus of MMJs should be headline and caption writing, copy fitting and pulling together complex multi-sourced stories.
“We need to target our art power on the showpiece pages and simplify design.
“As a consequence, we will template up to 70% of all Daily Record and Sunday Mail pages – this includes magazines and sport.
“Our aim is to achieve saving targets through voluntary means. We will consult with the NUJ and try to find alternative employment for staff potentially at risk.”