Almost a third of editorial staff face redundancy at Daily Record and Sunday Mail
TRINITY Mirror is cutting up to 70 journalists, almost a third of editorial staff, from its Glasgow-based Scottish newspapers, including the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, as part of a radical shakeup.
Editorial operations for Trinity Mirror's Glasgow papers are to be integrated, with the Daily Record editor, Bruce Waddell, appointed to the newly created role of editor-in-chief of the two flagship titles to oversee the adoption of a new web-based content management system, ContentWatch.
Allan Rennie, the Sunday Mail editor, has been moved to a new role of editorial development director of Trinity Mirror's national titles, including the Daily Mirror and the People, as well as Scottish papers.
According to Trinity Mirror, initial changes involve the reorganisation of the senior editorial team, which also includes weekly titles the Glaswegian and Business7, and the Record PM afternoon freesheet.
It is understood Trinity Mirror will seek up to 60 voluntary redundancies from across all editorial departments in Glasgow, to join 10 staff who have already left, as it develops a single editorial production operation.
It is not clear how the plans will affect the news and picture desks and other editorial departments of individual titles.
The publisher, which broke the news to 240 editorial staff at lunchtime today, said it has entered a 30-day consultation period with those likely to be affected.
"It was a pretty open secret that restructuring along these lines was in the offing," said a Daily Record source. "Staff are surprised by the scale of the job losses. We knew something was in the offing – that cuts were coming – but we were taken aback."
According to Trinity Mirror, the changes will see a "multimillion-pound investment" in new technology in its Glasgow base to enable production of high-quality content across multiple print and online publications, for which remaining staff will undergo multimedia training.
"These are extraordinary days in our industry. No business, including ours, has escaped the economic downturn," said Mark Hollinshead, managing director of Trinity Mirror's national division.
"This reorganisation plus the investment in technology and retraining of staff will better position us for the future in what will be a dramatically different media economy and commercial environment."
Glasgow will become the second Trinity Mirror publishing centre, after the company's regional operation in Birmingham, to introduce the ContentWatch editorial system.
In August, Trinity Mirror started the process of overhauling its large regional publishing operations when it announced a radical revamp of its Midlands operation.
It created two large new integrated multimedia newsrooms in Birmingham and Coventry, providing editorial for five titles, including the Birmingham Post and the Coventry Telegraph, at a cost of 65 editorial jobs.
Similar restructures at Trinity's regional operations across the North of England in November cost a total of 106 jobs.
Centralisation of production and photographic work of more than 20 Trinity weekly newspapers across London, the south-east and the home counties, led to about 16 editorial jobs being cut last month.
The move follows the pre-Christmas announcement by Newsquest subsidiary the Herald & Times Group, also based in Glasgow, of a similar editorial reorganisation expected to cost up to 40 jobs.
"We are shocked at the scale of the proposals but it looks like the company do appear to be keen to engage with us over the voluntary redundancies," said Paul Holleran, the NUJ's Scottish organiser.
"But it's quite a young workforce. It's not like the Herald, which is a bit older and where they were able to find all necessary redundancies. It might be harder to get them [at the Record]."