Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Independent newspapers to cut 20 per cent of staff

One in five journalists will be made redundant at The Independent and its Sunday sister title, the latest in a string of layoffs across the newspaper business brought on by the recession.

The deeper-than-expected cuts are designed to safeguard the future of the loss-making titles after tentative discussions to sell them to Zac Goldsmith broke down.

Simon Kelner, the managing director ofThe Independent, told staff that if no cuts were made it would be irresponsible in the extreme because “we’d be racking up losses that would threaten the very survival of these papers. So we’ve come up with a strategy we believe secures their future.”

Between 50 and 60 reporters and subeditors will go out of a total of about 250 and layoffs among sales and other staff take the total redundancies to 90, out of a workforce of 425, with compulsory job cuts not ruled out.

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