Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Newsquest set to close 11 regional papers

Newsquest is planning to close 11 newspapers in the north-west of England as part of drastic cutbacks to its regional newspaper publishing operation.

The widespread reorganisation is expected to lead to further editorial and commercial job cuts across Newsquest's north-west business, which has offices in Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria.

The publisher, owned by US newspaper giant Gannett, sent an internal memo to staff today saying it had entered a number of different consultations to restructure its business in the north-west as a result of continued difficult trading conditions.

Today's Newsquest memo, seen by MediaGuardian.co.uk, identifies plans to centralise newspaper planning operations at Blackburn for all its north-west titles and create three regional editorial production hubs that will be responsible for all subediting.

The memo said the restructure under consideration would see 10 free weekly newspapers cease publication.

These include the Blackpool Citizen, the Preston Citizen, the Lancaster Citizen, the Westmorland Messenger, the Congleton Guardian, the Macclesfield Community News, the Hale Community News, the Knutsford Community News, the Lancashire Auto Exchange and the Manchester & Merseyside Auto Exchange.

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