Page last updated at 16:53 GMT, Monday, 23 February 2009

Job cuts as Record and Mail merge

Daily Record masthead
Official figures show the Record's circulation has fallen sharply

Up to a quarter of journalists at the Daily Record and Sunday Mail newspapers are to lose their jobs under plans to merge their newsrooms.

Owners Trinity Mirror said the restructuring would make the titles better equipped for a "dramatically different media economy".

Under the plans, 70 out of 276 editorial staff employed by Trinity Mirror in Scotland are to go.

Staff were told of the losses at a meeting in Glasgow.

A 30-day consultation is now under way. Management said they hoped to achieve as many of the job cuts as possible through voluntary means.

They said the current economic climate had been a factor in the reorganisation, under which the Daily Record and Sunday Mail would operate as a single editorial team.

No business, including ours, has escaped the economic downturn
Mark Hollinshead
Trinity Mirror
Trinity Mirror said in a statement: "The Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail has today announced plans to develop a fully integrated editorial operation which includes a multi-million pound investment in cutting-edge technology.

"This will lead to the development of a single integrated editorial production operation across both the Daily Record and the Sunday Mail and the division's associated websites and titles including the Glaswegian and Business 7.

"These changes are expected to result in the reduction of up to 70 editorial positions across the business and today the Daily Record and Sunday Mail Ltd has entered into a period of consultation with all of those staff likely to be affected."

Current Daily Record editor Bruce Waddell has now been appointed editor-in-chief of both the Daily Record and Sunday Mail.

Sunday Mail editor Allan Rennie has been given the post of editorial development director of Trinity Mirror's national titles.

Mark Hollinshead, managing director of Trinity Mirror's National Division, said: "These are extraordinary days in our industry.

"No business, including ours, has escaped the economic downturn. This reorganisation plus investment in technology and retraining of staff will better position us for the future in what will be a dramatically different media economy and commercial environment."

'Iconic titles'

Mr Waddell said: "The Daily Record and Sunday Mail are Scotland's best-read and most iconic titles. They will remain so.

"They both have fantastic news, sport and features content. Nothing will change in that respect. As part of this, we will integrate our growing digital operation into the overall editorial structure."

Paul Holleran, Scottish organiser of the National Union of Journalists, said: "It's a pretty brutal level of cuts. People are in a state of shock and very angry. A lot of people reckon the Daily Record and Sunday Mail is one of the more profitable parts of the industry and this is no way for that to be rewarded."

A meeting of staff in the union 'chapel' is planned for Tuesday afternoon.

BBC Scotland business editor Douglas Fraser said restructuring was similar to recent changes and job losses at The Herald and Sunday Herald, while last week The Scotsman and its sister paper, Scotland on Sunday, appointed a joint editor for the first time.

The Daily Record's circulation has dropped to about 336,000, allowing it to be overtaken by the Scottish Sun as Scotland's most-bought daily newspaper, according to official ABC figures.

The circulation of the Sunday Mail has also fallen in recent times to a current level of 416,169, but it has retained its position as the country's most popular Sunday newspaper.

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