Page last updated at 18:41 GMT, Monday, 8 March 2010

Bristol and Plymouth papers announce merger plan

Composite
The merged newspapers will be edited from Plymouth

Bristol's Western Daily Press is to merge its senior editorial positions with its Plymouth equivalent, the Western Morning News, it has said.

The papers will be printed separately, but will share the same editor and have a combined news gathering operation based in Plymouth.

Unions are investigating the implications of the move.

Twenty jobs could also be lost due to other production changes at Northcliffe Media titles in Devon.

Additionally, Northcliffe has announced 11 positions could be at risk at Bristol's Evening Post.

Sales of the Western Daily Press have declined by 10% in the past year, to about 34,000.

The Plymouth-based papers' sales have fallen by about 6.5% in the past year, to just over 35,000.

Both newspapers - which are based 133 miles apart - will retain their own reporting teams under the plans.

The overall editor and main news gathering operation will be based in Plymouth.

In an unrelated shake-up, sub-editing jobs at the Plymouth Herald, the Torquay Herald Express and the Exeter Express and Echo will transfer to a central hub in Plymouth.



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