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News International cuts 50 jobs

News International today announced 50 editorial job cuts at the Times and News of the World as part of its latest cost-cutting drive.

The job losses at the two Wapping titles form part of company-wide cost-cutting measures, with News International understood to be seeking savings of £30m.

Editors of News International's four national titles - the Sun, News of the World, Times and Sunday Times - have been outlining their individual cost-cutting plans to their staff today.

The News of the World editor, Colin Myler, told his team that 20 editorial posts will go, while a further 30 journalists' jobs will be axed at the Times.

Further cuts are expected at the Sun and Sunday Times, although it is thought no specific details on the level of job losses were given at today's staff meetings for the two titles.

However, the Sunday Times editor, John Witherow, did tell his staff that the paper needed to find savings of £2.5m.

In an email to senior management this morning, the News International executive chairman, Les Hinton, said the company would seek voluntary redundancies "wherever possible", although it is thought compulsory redundancies have not been ruled out.

"This is part of a programme to make parts of our business as efficient as possible," Mr Hinton said.

"We are doing so in common with all UK newspaper groups. This is necessary because newspaper revenues are coming under pressure while other costs are rising and we are also investing in digital media.

"All changes will be made with great care to avoid diminishing the quality enjoyed by our millions of readers.

"We will consult with [News International Staff Association] over the next 30 days about ways to reduce the number of job losses. We will also seek voluntary redundancies wherever possible."

Mr Myler told staff in an email that the 20 redundancies would come from across the News of the World and its Sunday magazine, while there would also be "unavoidable reductions" in some casual shifts.

He said the cuts were part of "budgetary requirements" for the 2007-08 financial year, which starts on July 1.

A News of the World spokeswoman confirmed the resignation of the Sunday magazine editor, Louise Oswald, who has been in charge since January last year, although it is understood that her departure is not connected to the redundancies announced today.

The News of the World showbusiness editor, Rachel Richardson, is said to be taking over as acting editor of Sunday magazine in the short term while a replacement is sought.

Meanwhile, the Times travel editor, Cath Urquart, is leaving the paper after 10 years, although this is unconnected to today's redundancy announcements.

The News of the World picture editor, Paul Ashton, is also leaving his post in order to go back on the road as chief photographer - a role he held before taking the desk job.

Brian Roberts - who returned to the News of the World from New York last year with his wife, Sunday magazine editor Louise Oswald, who it is was confirmed today will leave her job - will remain as number two on the picture desk.

A replacement for Ashton is expected to be sought in the near future.

It is thought his role change is unconnected to today's announcement of redundancies.

A News International spokeswoman declined to comment on the cost-cutting plans.

Date posted: June 6, 2007 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 65