Five posts at the Scottish edition of the free, daily newspaper, the Metro, have been earmarked for closure, in the wake of savings announced by its publishers.
The paper is expected to lose two staff members in its news operation and three in features. With a circulation of 130,000 – in the Central Belt, Perth and Dundee – Metro Scotland, like many others, appears to have fallen victim to a downturn in advertising revenue.
In a statement, Steve Auckland, managing director of Metro, UK-wide, said: “The impact of the economic downturn is likely to affect Metro’s advertising revenues into next year. Like most media organisations we have been busy streamlining the business to deal with a tougher market. We have benefited from the implementation of a new editorial system this year which has allowed us more flexibility in how we produce Metro. This has resulted in some redundancies and non-replacement of positions. We have made these changes to remain profitable, enable us to significantly increase our investment in both digital and green initiatives and emerge in an even stronger position in the next 12-18 months.”
Including the five posts identified for axing, Metro Scotland is produced by 22 full-time and a handful of regular freelancers. While some content is provided by the paper’s sister titles in England, 70 per cent of its sports editorial is generated locally, as is 50 per cent of its news.
UK-wide, the morning freesheet is available at 16 cities. It is owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust.
Comment: It’s extremely upsetting to see the company’s managing director refer to sacking staff as ‘streamlining’. It’s widely known the new editorial system Steve Auckland mentions has in fact slowed production in the Glasgow office and the loss of staff will only reduce the quality of the paper. Is voluntary redundancy being offered to the staff? I hear not.
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