First Cardiff, then Birmingham, now Glasgow. The latest Trinity Mirror (LSE: TNI) publishing centre to get a multimedia revamp and restructure is the Daily Record and Sunday Mail newsroom — and the Trinity confirms that the workforce could be reduced by “up to 70” jobs as the publisher creates a “fully-integrated editorial operation”.
It’s part of a multi-million investment in the ContentWatch print and web CMS, made by MediaSpectrum and the same system now used at Trinity’s Birmingham centre, where 65 jobs were cuts last year. Mediaspectrum’s commercial CMS, AdWatch, is being run in tandem for the company’s sales staff.
Record editor Bruce Waddell now becomes editor-in-chief of both titles while Mail editor Allan Rennie moves over to editorial development director for Trinity’s national titles, including the Daily Mirror. Just like in Birmingham, journalists in Glasgow will be shortening the process of news from reporter to the printed or online page through the use of an content desk controlling both papers and Dailyrecord.co.uk.
With Trinity’s preliminary full-year results out on Thursday, this is CEO Sly Bailey staying true to her plan to invest in digital and rationalise struggling newspapers. With national newspaper digital revenue already suffering badly in the recession, it may be some time before the full benefits of these changes take effect.
What is ContentWatch? It’s a web-based CMS that integrates with all the software that newspapers use like Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) InDesign and can be used to design web or newspaper pages. Crucially, it simplifies the production process when it comes to still and moving images — so picture editors and sub-editors who spend much of their time managing, filing and inserting images now find their jobs under threat from easy-to-use software other staff can be trained to use. Trinity claims the ContentWatch reduces the steps in the production process from five to three — so expect the staff numbers to fall but a similar ratio.
UPDATE: Hours after Trinity’s announcement, DMGT-owned Northcliffe Media has announced it will considering plans to centralise the production of seven daily newspapers in the East Midlands and the North-East — meaning the loss of up to 50 jobs, according to HTFP. Under the plans, two production centres in Hull and Nottingham will control the production and subbing of seven newspapers, including some of the company’s biggest titles. As if that wasn’t enough, consultation has begun with 66 staff at the DMGT-owned Harmsworth Press printing plant in Leicester, which is being considered for closure.