Editor facing redundancy axe

Newsquest has revealed that it plans to make one of its regional editors redundant – just three days before Christmas.

It is believed the announcement was made prior to editorial staff meeting for their Christmas meal.

Peter John (2).jpeg

Peter John (pictured), who has edited the Worcester News for the past six years, is the latest in a series of senior Newsquest editors to leave the company over recent months. Peter, who is also regional editor for Newsquest’s Midlands South and Gloucestershire division, was previously publisher at the company’s Stourbridge division.

A memo from divisional managing director Julia Lancett said: “There is a need to reduce costs and deliver efficiencies in the editorial team across Midlands South/Glos, and as a result the company is proposing to make the role of regional editor redundant.

“It is with regret therefore, that under these proposals the role of regional editor for Midlands South/Glos will be placed at risk of redundancy with immediate effect with a proposed termination date of 22 December 2017, although this date is subject to confirmation.”

The memo added: “As with any reorganisation, it is the policy of the company to avoid unnecessary redundancies wherever possible and in an effort to do so it will now undertake a consultation process with those staff affected to discuss potential ways of doing so.”

Over the past month, Newsquest had made a series of job loss announcements at other publishing centres including Blackburn, Bolton, Bradford, Gloucestershire, Oxford, Wiltshire and York, with a total of 34 editorial roles, including Peter’s, set to be lost.

In September this year, a restructure of the Midlands South and Gloucestershire division, saw John Wilson, Peter’s deputy in Worcester, effectively swap places with Michael Purton, editor of three Newsquest weeklies in Gloucestershire.

Michael is now divisional deputy editor for Newsquest Midlands South & Gloucestershire with responsibility for daily operations within the Worcester newsroom, while John has taken on Michael’s old titles and Newsquest’s Herefordshire weeklies.

A Newsquest spokesman said: “Whilst regrettable, we can confirm there is a proposal to make the role of regional editor redundant.”