20th November 2015

Lancashire Telegraph Faces Redundancies

Six jobs are at risk of redundancy at Newsquest's Lancashire Telegraph.


Among the six journalists facing redundancy at the Lancashire Telegraph are two editors who have both been at the newspaper for around four decades.

Picture editor Neil Johnson has worked for the Lancashire Telegraph for 40 years, and is facing redundancy along with Alan Simpon, deputy editor who has been with the newspaper for 38 years.

Other jobs at risk of redundancy are a features writer, an online assistant, a content editor and a PA role.

NUJ representative for Blackburn, Chris Gee, said "Staff here are reeling from yet more brutal and unjustifiable cuts.

"I've never seen the newsroom as stunned and dismayed at finding out the two most senior journalists in the newsroom were leaving just hours after finding out they were redundant.

"In the form of Neil and Alan, eight decades of editorial and managerial experience left the paper in one afternoon. They were the backbone of the paper.

"This was followed by a further round of redundancies. It reaches levels of tragi-comedy that one of the roles going is that of digital journalist.

"Less than a week ago The Lancashire Telegraph was crowned best online media at the O2 North West Media Awards, beating finalists such as ITV Granada. The glossy trophy for that now stands next to the desk soon to be vacated by one of our online team when she loses her job.

"Journalists here note with incredulity that pay for Newsquest directors rose above £1m for the first time since 2001 last year. Bonus payments across Newsquest’s nine directors who served during 2014 also increased significantly by £338,000. All this after Newsquest reported on operating profit of £3.4m in its wider North West division (up from £2.6m in 2013). Reporters who routinely work up to ten hours a week unpaid overtime are now left wondering how we can produce a newspaper of any quality."

 
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