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Newspapers suffer further cutbacks

More jobs to go at Herald and Times

The HeraldA further 25 jobs are to go at The Herald and Evening Times newspapers in Glasgow in what will be the fourth round of redundancies in little more than a year.

The posts will be axed to help owner Newsquest meet a £1 million target for taking cost out of the business.

NUJ Scotland national organiser, Paul Holleran, said the latest cutback would put a “serious risk” over the future of the papers which include The National and Sunday Herald.

He said quality would decline and he called for the company to review the way they were running the business.

“This is the fourth round of editorial redundancies in the Newsquest Scottish titles in 14 months,” he said.

“This is not a clever way of running a publishing company and there is a serious risk to the future of the newspapers in this stable.

“We are concerned that a further reduction in quality is inevitable as talented journalists lose their jobs and those remaining struggle with an increasing workload to gather and produce news and features that help sell the product.

“Newsquest executives and board members need to take a new look at the way they are running the business. Pursuing unrealistic profit targets by constantly making cuts instead of innovative growth of the business is not sustainable in the long term.

“There now are less than half the journalists employed at The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times compared to when Newsquest took over this historic Scottish publisher.”

He questioned the promises made to nurture and grow the business when the firm company gave undertakings to the Competition Commission. Those pledges, he said, “now ring hollow”.

He said the NUJ will endeavour to work with the new management team to mitigate the loss of jobs.

“However we are not prepared to accept blatant compulsory redundancies and there is little doubt the chapel will stand up for that principle.

“I am sure we can put into place maximum consultation to ensure a restructured editorial team which provides support for the workforce while producing decent newspapers, but Newsquest need to work flexibly with the union on a number of fronts including acceptable redundancy terms for those at risk.”


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