Merger of production operations at regional publisher

Marc Reeves

Marc Reeves

Up to six jobs are set to be lost in a move that sees the merger of print production operations of seven daily newspapers across the Midlands.

Reach plc announced the proposal to staff at its East and West Midlands dailies just 48 hours after the company revealed both regions would now come under a single editor-in-chief in Marc Reeves.

Marc, who is taking on the expanded role after Derby Telegraph editor and East Midlands editor-in-chief Steve Hall decided to step down, announced the move to staff yesterday.  In a memo, seen by media website HTFP, he said he hoped the cuts - understood to mainly affect sub-editing roles - can be achieved entirely through voluntary redundancies.

Reach’s seven daily tiles in the Midlands are the Birmingham MailBurton MailCoventry Telegraph, Derby Telegraph, Leicester MercuryNottingham Post and Stoke-on-Trent daily The Sentinel.

Marc (pictured) said:  “The proven success of regionalised print production, along with the investment in a common system across the Regionals division, has enabled us to further refine our workflows. We propose to take advantage of the new opportunities created by these changes to introduce one production model across Regionals editorial.

“Specifically, we are today proposing to combine the print production operations of our seven daily titles in the West and East Midlands into a single operation to make the most efficient use of our resources. This move will not necessarily require anybody to relocate.”

He added: “The proposed changes are expected to lead to the loss of six full-time equivalent roles in total across both regions.

“We hope to achieve these savings entirely through voluntary redundancies and have therefore invited print production colleagues who may be interested to come forward.”

Earlier this year Reach merged the print operations of the Manchester Evening News and Huddersfield Daily Examiner, in a restructure, which the company said, would involve a net loss of seven roles at the latter.