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Thomson Reuters continues 'shake-up', decides to axe 140 journalists

Thomson Reuters continues 'shake-up', decides to axe 140 journalists

News and information company Thomson Reuters will cut 140 journalist jobs by the end of the year. In an internal email to staff, the editor-in-chief of Reuters News, David Schlesinger, said having looked into areas of "natural overlap and duplication in coverage" between Thomson and Reuters the newly merged company had decided more than half of the cuts would be in Europe, the Guardian reported Monday.

"After looking at both the unique content that each news operation produces as well as news that is duplicated, I believe that the combined size of the new Reuters News at the end of the year should be around 2,500 - significantly more than the 2,380 the old Reuters editorial ended 2007 with," he told staff in the memo, seen by MediaGuardian.co.uk.

"Unfortunately, the overlap we've found and our need to run the operation efficiently means that we will have to eliminate around 140 jobs worldwide by the end of the year," he added.

"More than half the cuts will occur in Europe, the area of most duplication; the rest will be scattered. Thomson Financial News will be totally absorbed into Reuters News by end of 2008, and sooner if possible.

Schlesinger said cuts in the news department would be offset by "hiring into new projects". "I anticipate that over the coming months we will add some 50 new jobs in key areas that are central to my strategy of making us the best news service for the 21st century," he added.

The journalist job losses follow last week's news of cuts elsewhere within Thomson Reuters, with up to 700 posts to be axed across sales and technical support. Staff at the company were told last week that up to 650 posts will go from its content, technology and operations division, with around 250 redundancies. In addition, 45 jobs will go from sales teams in its central Europe, Middle East and Africa division out of a total of 1,305 posts.

Another report in the Guardian said that at the news wire operations of both Thomson and Reuters, union members are poised to take industrial action over the way managers are expected to go about cutting jobs.

Staff say the tone from management briefings so far suggests employees will be forced out of their jobs because Thomson Reuters is expected to opt for compulsory rather than voluntary redundancies to cut out overlap.

Shareholders of Thomson Corporation and Reuters in March approved plans for the Canadian firm to buy the British-based media and information group and create the world's biggest provider of financial data.

Date posted: May 19, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 623