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More job cuts as Bristol Evening Post drops Saturday edition

Twenty out of 56 journalist jobs will be cut at the Bristol Evening Post next month, as Saturday edition is dropped

Bristol News & Media

Bristol News & Media: Home of the Bristol Evening Post and Western Daily Press

Twenty out of 56 journalist jobs will be cut at the Bristol Evening Post next month, after it emerged the publishers would drop the paper’s Saturday edition.

Staff at the Evening Post were also told this morning that the name would change to the Bristol Post next week, in recognition of the paper becoming a morning title in 2009.

Under the new proposals, an extended Friday edition with a weekend guide for Bristol will be launched and sister title the Western Daily Press will “offer readers an alternative on Saturday”.

Other changes include Northcliffe’s Venue magazine becoming a digital-only product, though listings and review content will be used in the Friday Post, the Bristol Observer and the local edition of Metro.

Folio magazine, currently jointly produced with Venue, will remain as a stand-alone monthly. The May edition of Venue/Folio will be the last in its current form and Dave Higgitt, Venue publishing director, will leave the business next month, said Northcliffe

The job cuts announced today include the news that all staff photographers will be given freelance contracts instead. A source at the paper told Bristol24-7  that it was a “terrible day for the snappers”.

It is unclear where the remaining changes in editorial will take place.

Bristol News and Media publisher Alan Renwick said: “We have undertaken an exhaustive review of our portfolio and the changing needs of readers and advertisers in our market.

“These planned changes give us a more focused and flexible set of publications which are much more closely aligned to our customers and give us a better platform for future growth.”

The most recent readership figures for the Post, covering the last six months of December 2011, show circulation was down 9.2% to 36,262.

In 2009, more than 40 jobs were cut across the Post and Western Daily Press, while another 36 were lost at the start of 2006 following a partial merger of the two titles.

Paul Breeden, chair of the Bristol branch of the National Union of Journalists, told BBC Radio Bristol this morning that it was “awful news” for the people of Bristol.

“This wasn’t on the cards and it is a great shock. It’s bad news for all the journalists at the Post and for the people of Bristol who depend on the Post,” he said.

“The editor Mike Norton has said he would listen seriously to proposals made by the NUJ and we will be putting forward plans to try to save jobs.”

9 Responses to More job cuts as Bristol Evening Post drops Saturday edition
  1. Glass Eye
    April 14, 2012 | 6:35 pm

    What happened to the concept of running a company for the benefit of the shareholders? What benefit will there be once the business has stripped all its assets and is left with nothing to sell? This is a nonsensical decision.

  2. Joe Fox
    April 14, 2012 | 1:37 pm

    excellent news. 1 down 5 more to go, then all these left wing 'reporters' whom think money grows on trees and not from local businesses that should be treated with respect not villified can look for real jobs. Well done the Libdems for killing anything that makes a profit in Bristol….

  3. philip elliott
    April 13, 2012 | 7:30 pm

    yes circulation down 9 percent in the last 6 months. nothing to do with the stupid re design and change of format which has alienated thousands of readers. dont they get it its the older generation that buy the post and they dont like CHANGE get out and talk to the readers for gods sake phil elliott associated with the post for 46 years and WAS proud of it!!!!

  4. Laura
    April 13, 2012 | 6:23 pm

    Feelings go out to all those facing redundancy – but as someone who took redundancy in the cull of 2009, I must say that post BNM life is so much better. More opportunities, more variety and the chance to work for forward-thinking companies or better still, yourself.

    Nothing good ever came from being part of Northcliffe. Nothing. Its shortsighted, hypocritical, management-heavy approach to publishing is fundamentally flawed. It killed the Western Daily Press, destroyed Venue and now it looks set to decimate Bristol's most longstanding local newspaper. Words fail me.

    • philip elliott
      April 13, 2012 | 7:34 pm

      spot on laura

  5. Guest
    April 13, 2012 | 4:34 pm

    Appalling, unnecessary, short-sighted and lamentable. Was there really any need, other than profit margin, to do this to what was, just a few short years ago, a thriving evening newspaper? And all that campaigning to save Venue came to nowt. If he's any fight left in him, Higgit should get up off the floor, launch something new and stick it to Northcliffe once and for all!

  6. Guest
    April 13, 2012 | 2:55 pm

    Will the next shock be a move to smaller premises and a sale of the Temple Way site when the market is sufficiently buoyant?

  7. Tom A
    April 13, 2012 | 2:02 pm

    And not a word about the final killing of Venue, nothing about the contribution the mag has made over the years and the dedication of Dave Higgitt and all the great talent he and Dougal nurtured.

  8. Kevin C
    April 13, 2012 | 12:11 pm

    With the 19 redundancies announced today, I reckon that makes exactly 100 journalists' jobs lost in seven years. (Press Gazette: " In 2009 Northcliffe axed around 45 editorial jobs at the Post and the Western Daily Press, after cutting 36 journalists when it largely merged the two Bristol-based dailies in 2005.")

    And photographers are the journalists closest to the readers, instantly recognisable at scores of very local events – the public face of the newspaper as well as its eyes. Lose them and you lose a very special link to your market. Remote and faceless managers don't see that.

    That's why the Bristol Evening Post has lost so many more readers in recent years, because it has steadily diluted its news offering. No coincidence that circulation figures for six months to December show a 9.2 per cent fall to 36,262.

    The traditional newspaper model has been undermined by internet, of course, but the Northcliffe takeover did the Evening Post no favours at all.

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