Archant has brought in consultants to undertake an editorial review which journalists fear could result in jobs cuts, says the Press Gazette.
The review will cover the divisions of the Norwich-based business producing newspapers, daily and weekly, and magazines in the eastern counties and London.
The Press Gazette quotes Archant Regional’s finance director, Brian McCarthy, saying:
In editorial, we need to meet the challenges posed by new channels of delivery and content management, particularly with publishing to the web.
Markets are changing, what consumers and advertisers want from their regional media businesses are changing and the competition is changing, including from unexpected sources such as the BBC, with online and emerging ultra-local television. We expect the current phase to run for the next couple of months and to engage all our editorial units.
Journalists in the group, where there have already been job cuts, probably have good reason to be worried. And why did the comments come from a finance executive instead of an editorial figure?
As a reader of one of the papers under review, The East Anglian Daily Times, which is produced in Ipswich and covers the small town where I live, I have a strong interest in the paper.
I can see very good reason for a serious editorial review. At the moment they do not seem to have got it right either in the paper or online. But it needs to focus on positive moves which would almost cerrtainly involve investment in editorial, not cuts, to secure the papers in the long-term.