A day after an anodyne management memo to staff talked about a new “employee-friendly” culture introducing flexible working “in line with the changes in the media world”, The Telegraph newspaper in the UK has taken the axe to the jobs of more than a dozen senior (and expensive) journalists in the third clean-out in as many years. The Telegraph has joined Trinity Mirror, The Guardian and Express Newspapers in cutting staff, including the jobs of several hundred journalists. More cost cuts could be announced tomorrow night with DMGT, the owners of the Daily and Sunday Mail, revealing interim results that are expected to be weak.
The Telegraph memo was issued by Telegraph Media Group CEO Murdoch MacLennan, who said the group was going to focus on “keeping hold of top talent” and enhance its existing graduate scheme while undergoing a restructure that he claims will bring in a culture of “smart working” (which seems to be code for hot-desking). He told staff this would cut back space used at The Telegraph’s Victoria HQ in London, which MacLennan said would also allow it to “save significantly on rents and rates”. The company will also close the staff canteen (which the memo said was being used by other tenants in the building), which will be replaced by three fully fitted out kitchen and eating areas.
The losses at The Telegraph are reported to include senior staff on the features, culture, picture and foreign affairs desks. Included in the reported list was the paper’s deputy editor, Liz Hunt, plus the head of the paper’s arts and entertainment coverage, the paper’s foreign news chiefs and Asia editor (named as Philip Sherwell and said to be the longest serving journalist on the paper) the middle east editor, and at least one consumer and technology reporter.
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