Trinity Mirror has announced a dramatic series of changes to the structure of their Midlands operation.
A centralised editorial “multimedia” hub in Birmingham and Coventry, covering the production of the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Evening Mail, Coventry Telegraph and Sunday Mercury. This approach has already been successfully established in other Trinity Mirror regional areas such as the Liverpool based NW2 and Cardiff Media Wales publishing centres. A new £7.5m web based CMS (content management system) for the newsroom called ContentWatch, which will enable repurposing of content across print and web media. One hub will be based at the existing Fort Dunlop press site. Editorial roles will be multi skilled which brings both opportunities for personal growth and unfortunately a period of uncertainty and stress for those involved.
There are potentially 65 redundancies in editorial as part of the restructuring as all three hundred existing editorial roles have been made redundant with staff to re apply for the new multi skilled roles, but with around 65 fewer posts available.
Disposal or possible closure of two paid for weekly titles in Long Eaton and four free weeklies serving the Northampton area.
The Birmingham Post will move from a six day broadsheet to a business focussed Monday to Friday tabloid. (JD 2007 Mon-Sat ABC: 12,549 copies, 3,543 distributed as free) .
Has a tipping point been reached for the traditional individual newsroom silos and token web integration?
To put it even more bluntly, the internet has contributed to falls in newspaper sales over the years, which means a revenue loss. While we’ve stemmed the level of this decline in recent years at the Mail and on the Sunday Mercury, the current economic climate has exacerbated the revenue loss in the form of less advertising.
I’ve seen the figures, and we can simply no longer afford to exist as sister Midland titles is silos (ie: with the Mail, The Birmingham Post and the Sunday Mercury, etc having their own management, writers and production departments working separately).
We have to share content, share production and cleverly approach management of titles’ planning so that we do this while at the same time maintaining brand values. That’s what our plan – referred to in the above link – intends to do.
Steve Dyson, Birmingham Mail editor, in his blog
Hold The Front Page
BBC News Online