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Jobs shock at Post and Echo

Nearly a quarter of journalists to go, and Saturday Daily Post to vanish in latest Old Hall Street misery

Published on November 28th 2008.

Jobs shock at Post and Echo

ALMOST a quarter of journalists' jobs are to go at the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo's Old Hall Street HQ as part of a major shake-up that will see an end to the Daily Post's Saturday edition and journalists being invited to reapply for their jobs.

The news, which came following a widespread management review, was delivered to shocked Old Hall Street staff in a company meeting at 2pm today, and was blamed on diminishing ad revenues.

The far-reaching proposals, which will see 43 editorial jobs lost from a total of 175, will be introduced before the end of March next year, and will see journalists across the division grouped into four centralised multimedia “hubs”.

Sub-editors, the people who polish the writing, design the pages, fact check and act as a last legal safety net, appear to be in the sights of much of the "streamlining" and the ones that survive will be called “multimedia deskers” who will work across all papers and platforms.

Both reporters and photographers will be replaced by “multimedia journalists” who will take photos, shoot videos and file stories for the web and print.

Trinity Mirror said: “The new plan will see a reduction in editorial managers, and a streamlined newspaper production model that will reduce the requirement for production journalists.”

Staff were told: “It is our intention to make any reductions by purely voluntary means and we therefore hope to avoid any requirement to make compulsory redundancies. However,

given the large scale of the changes required in terms of structure and working practices it will be necessary to invite staff to apply for new roles in the multi-media structure, effectively rendering all existing roles redundant. “

Liverpool Daily Post and Echo NUJ rep Mike Chapple said: "We are gravely concerned about the implications of so many job losses: the number announced was far greater than we anticipated.

"Current staffing levels on a day to day basis were already a cause for concern in terms of producing the high quality of journalism that is so important to us and our readers. We acknowledge the company's commitment to no compulsory redundancies but rest assured, the chapel will be working hard to ensure the best deal for those who stay and those who go."

The latest news follows plummeting share values this year for Trinity Mirror and an announcement, earlier this month, of a 2009 pay freeze. It also comes on the heels of a controversial decision to relocate the printing of the papers to Oldham next year with the shedding of scores of jobs and ending 154 years of newspaper printing in Liverpool.

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43 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Old Hall StreetNovember 27th 2008.

You are right. If the Post and Echo played to their strengths and produced good print papers there wouldn't be a problem. Trouble is, in the good times they got rid of people over and over again to feed the fatcat shareholders wanting ever more for nothing. It meant the quality of the content nosedived because there not enough people found themselves skimming and doing too many jobs. Now management are like rabbits in the headlights because of the internet and think that's what they should be doing. But no. There is always room for a good paper and particularly one with the goodwill of a ready made readership going back 150 years.

talacrebeachlighthouseNovember 27th 2008.

The writing was on the wall when the company became part of the 'Mirror' stable. Lowest cost operation was always going to happen. It was a matter of time.We need to get the 'Echo' name off the Arena ASAP. They have let this city down.When does that deal end.By the way can anyone tell me what the Echo paid for the naming rights and for how long??

KagzNovember 27th 2008.

Maybe they'll dress them up as the three amigos, as a follow on to the Bradley in a Stetson. Maybe they'll all face the high chop-oral. There, use that one!

Marc WaddingtonNovember 27th 2008.

Will someone please say something nice about me?

MizaNovember 27th 2008.

How did murderers get this education free when poor white kids cant even find decent schools?ONly in scouseer hell hole liverpool.

Royal PhilNovember 27th 2008.

Jay - you cannot be serious! The robust editorialising of the MEN has knocked the LDP&E into a cocked hat for more years than I care to remember. However if you're suggesting that the LDP&E has won the race downmarket then you're spot on.The decline of the papers is yet another sign of the poverty of the city which no amount of ECOC candy floss will disguise.

AnonymousNovember 27th 2008.

Is that fat woman who does 'By Invitation Only' going?

Mischief NightNovember 27th 2008.

Funny, the LDP&E spend millions every year recruiting idiots for "focus groups" to tell them what to put in their papers, when they should have just paid Liverpool Confidential to ask its readers what was really what, on here!

blondyNovember 27th 2008.

The Echo is one of the great Liverpool institutions and, again, the people of Liverpool are being victimised by greedy capitalists bent on destroying an important arm of the local media.The faceless millionaires who have decided to ruthlessly slash this wonderful papers staff and resources should be named and shamed. Their addresses made known to every decent scouser and letters sent to them and their families in support of the wonderfull Echo.

Liverpool LouNovember 27th 2008.

I worked in the advertising dept of the Daily Post in the early 80s when things seemed more desperate than they appear to be now. Pagination was the name of the game and the number of pages printed was completely reliant on ad sales. The paper went from broadsheet to tabloid, new technology was introduced and daily we were under threat of being closed down. However we weathered the storm, we were always told that the management were keen to keep the DP going as it was the serious paper of the two (obviously prior to Trinity Mirror!) And now we are to lose the Saturday edition, and so many of the editorial staff - just where is it going to leave that once great and proud newspaper. Perhaps they are taking that idiot's advice and getting everyone to live in London and Cambridge!!Sad, sad times...

Adventure WeeklyNovember 27th 2008.

Why don't we start our own paper?

AnonymousNovember 27th 2008.

Do they give it away at Northwich station then?

hot metalNovember 27th 2008.

Would the Echo be missed if it disappeared altogether? Ten, 15 or 20 years ago the answer would be yes. Now, I'm not so sure. The editors are convinced the only think we are interested in is who was spotted here or there. Since the Echo became a third rate celeb rag its sales have nosedived. Yet the captains of the SS Titanic Echo are allowed to sail up and down the mersey looking for more icebergs. Its a pity that along with the move of the print operation to Oldham they haven't insisted on exiling their editors there as well. Prof C is spot on in his summary of the editorial integrity of the Echo and its lack of challenge to anything coming from the council of the Capital of Spending Company. It's left to you guys on Liverpool Confidential and some other blogsites to give the real facts of life in Liverpool.

DigNovember 27th 2008.

I fear The Echo may have a well read story come Monday. I will be surprised if there's no violence in Town tomorrow. We can only hope. It will be terrible for us if there is. I'm sure it's not just going to be local papers in Town looking for a story tomorrow. It would be typical of the nationals to ignore all the good thats happened here this year then turn up at the last minute of CoC year with an exaggerated story about racism and violence in Liverpool. Scared children, pensioners, people innocently going about their Xmas shopping getting caught up in a melee. I can see the sensationalisms now. I hope I'm wrong. Very wrong.

ruggerbuggerNovember 27th 2008.

Is it really true that only murderers get this?How the hell did this get approved?What a world we are living in - dad would be spinning in his grave.

wonnie the wanterNovember 27th 2008.

its a crap paper anyway. the so called 'voice of merseyside' fails the people of merseyside on a regular basis. its had its own way without any competition for far too long.

Prof 3rd time tonight sorryNovember 27th 2008.

Thanks to Liverpool Subculture Blogspot A chance for the Echo to try and regain some credibility. Let's see how they cover the story about Executive Member of The City Council being found guilty of breaking Election law and shown to be a liar under oath. How will they cover los trios amigos Bradley, Storey, and Eldridge who acted as character witnesses? Here's your chance Alistair.Of course the best thing to do is to read liverpoolsubculture who as usual got there before the Oldham Echo and The Last Post.

Same Anonymous As BeforeNovember 27th 2008.

David Bartlett. Gifted? How?

London RoadNovember 27th 2008.

Well said Matt, and very well said Prof.

CorrespondentNovember 27th 2008.

Professor, you're a star! Echo editor Alastair Machray was allowed by Roger Phillips on his phone-in last Friday to put a gloss on the job losses as well as the move to Oldham. Unfortunately for Machray, most of the callers were not swayed by his honeyed words. A couple compared his, ahem, paper to the Daily Mail, & one even declared it to be a worse than the Sun! It should still be available on the "Listen Again" facility on http://bbc.co.uk/liverpool . Machray came out with a couple of gems. His claim that the Echo is the voice of Liverpool had me in stitches. However, the best gag was his contention that the Echo is a brand known around the world...just like the New York Times. Yes, he compared the sorry little "newspaper" he's responsible for to the NYT. Laugh? I nearly went out campaigning for Warren Bradley.

Paul NewmanNovember 27th 2008.

Does this mean Joe Riley has got to reapply for his job?

TonyNovember 27th 2008.

The Big C*ntry - excellent.

E GregiousNovember 27th 2008.

They've run both papers into the ground and set sail on this flimsy course of nano-celebrity and shopping. Who cares that Cheryl No-Mark's been spotted scratching her a*se in George Henry Lees?! Fact: people on Merseyside would buy a local paper in droves if it were any good, never mind all that cobblers about digital content. We need a new daily for Liverpool, but don't hold your breath. It's enough to give ya the gallopin' jerks.

Metal MickeyNovember 27th 2008.

I suppose this will be another subject that Pete Price, imposter Echo columnist, will ban listeners from talking about on his show. So musch for a free press. The Echo/Post will also now be terrified to speak up for any workers on Merseyside facing a similar fate because the tag of "hypocrisy" will be thrown right back at them. Could this be why the posties' plight got played down around the time they were moving the printers to Oldham. Just a theory.

scousekrautNovember 27th 2008.

There is no such thing as a Free Press anywhere in the world. Individuals and Corporations do not own newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations to give people "The Truth". On the contrary.I have not bought a newspaper or news magazine in years but I have a quick look most days at the headlines and comment on their Internet sites. I threw my TV out several years ago and fortunately it did not hit anybody. I do not miss it at all. There are far more important and useful things to do than watch TV.Almost all local Newspapers nowadays belong to large companies or corporations and the quality of investigative jornalism and writing in general appeals to those who like sensationalism and fearmongering.

DigNovember 27th 2008.

Is it a marketing strategy to seperate The Post and The Echo further? The Post upmarket & Echo further downmarket? The Post hasn't changed much in a while yet The Echo is clearly pampering to the celeb culture, reality TV brainwashed masses. As the Prof said it's just another Heat Magazine now, even if it is hiding behind a red top with a token gesture of local news. They blame ad revenue. I blame content. If there's less people taking less notice of the news and articles in there how can they expect the same people to take any notice of the ads in there? Most people have probably put the paper down by the time they've read the headline story, sport and decided what they're watching. They have alienated and insulted their Scouse core readership by moving to Oldham and dumbing down to cater for teenagers tastes in journalism. Maybe Trinity Mirror know something we don't... Teenagers are going to start buying newspapers!

How journalism worksNovember 27th 2008.

Doubt it. She is a PR who does the column for free in return for being able to plug her clients in the pictures.

MattNovember 27th 2008.

Like others, I congratulate the excellent Prof for his clear-sighted, well-informed and passionate dissection of how Trinity badly serves Liverpool.I was brought up on the Echo and fantastic columnists like Stanley Reynolds. With the honorable exception of the exceptionally gifted Mr Bartlett, there is no one to compare. This may be a reflection of the way society has shifted. It may also reflect the lack of interest shown by the management in quality writing.They do not care either about news, or truth, or justice. They only care about producing a downmarket tabloid which does not exercise anyone's grey matter.The end result of which is that the people are kept in their place and kept in the dark. If some of the stuff which has gone on in Liverpool in the last few years, had happened in London, there would be public inquiries, questions in the House and a few people having their collars felt by the cops.The city has been relegated to being a provincial backwater without a provincial newspaper worthy of the name.

chanel4meNovember 27th 2008.

Dont forget, Liverpool was the first city in the world to offer university courses to lifers in prison. John Moores University has ensured many murderers have earned good degrees. Prisons is now the most likely place where Liverpool men can receive a free education.

GordoNovember 27th 2008.

Scouserkraut, you must be fun to live with.

that'smrbollockstoyouNovember 27th 2008.

Oh dear, Miza. We do seem to be getting a tad overheated about Liverpudlians and Liverpool in general don't we. Indeed, it would be interesting to run a psychological profile on your good self to see if you're safe to walk the streets or not. Perhaps for New Year you should, to use some good advice usually applied to us Scousers, learn to, er-hem, calm down.

DigNovember 27th 2008.

I read the name 'Professor Chucklebutty', then looked at the size of the rant and thought 'here's another one of his amusing, insightful, if also long and winding rants'. This time Prof I had you wrong. That was absolutely spot on. Finally, something from YOU and not you being the Prof! (although I guess other rants are from you under different monikers). I might have written something similar myself if I thought I could have put it so eloquently and engaging. Bravo, more please boss.

Bent CaughtrightNovember 27th 2008.

What about Blognanza or A Fist Full of Leaflets? How The Hurst Was Done? The Big C*ntry?

MizaNovember 27th 2008.

Another whingeing scouser pleading to keep a dead industry alive!Apart from anything else how many people in Skiverpool ever read ANYTHING? Still less a semi literate newspaper that they give away free at railway stations!Close the Echo and the rest of the papers associated with these stupid scousers.All they want is cheap sentimental soap operas, grubby porn, and sensationalist crime stories. (Not forgetting peabrained footballers lives and forged I.D. cards to scrounge more money illegally.)

AnonymousNovember 27th 2008.

Prof Chucklebutty can rant all he wants about the Council ,Storey, and Bradley,but at the end of the day would you rather have them or the Fat baldy looking club bouncer anderson running the show. we all know the Labour party lies through its teeth on everything from the Gulf War,Money for Honours,the banks et al.What you need to be more worried about is a little piece of legislation that was in the Transport Act 2000 that called'' The Workplace Parking Levy'',which would be a tax on going to work. This ba****d of legislation brought in by that F.....g labour government would allow firms and the local councils to reap in millions at the expence of Motorists. type in Workplace Parking Levy and see what it says.

AnonymousNovember 27th 2008.

I am an Old Hall Street journalist and have just found out that under the new regime I am expected to write my own copy directly on to pages and my headlines too. So what the company saves in salaries it may pay out in libels. Ok!

CrestfallenNovember 27th 2008.

Do you want a job, Bent? Oh sorry, ther isn't one...

AnonymousNovember 27th 2008.

A sorry day, but on the cards for a long time, I'm afraid. The shareholders will always win.

M RuleNovember 27th 2008.

Prof Chucklebutty hits the nail on the head ... who will hold those in authority to account now? If Echo and Post journalists struggled up to now, how will they manage going forward with their freshly bland, boring, uninquiring titles?What we're seeing being created is the McPost and the McEcho. Newspapers that are as homogenised as a burger bun - briefly satisfying, never filling and the same the world over.

jayNovember 27th 2008.

As an exiled scouser in Manchester I've got to say that I love reading the Echo when i'm back in Liverpool; it's so much better than the bloody M.E.N. Though if the Echo followed the M.E.N's lead of giving the paper away for free in the city centre then advertising revenue would shoot up and they'd still have their sales revenue in the suburbs.

AnonymousNovember 27th 2008.

"Speaking up for Merseyside" is actually their slogan. But whatever. The Professor is absolutely spot on, as usual. However, it needs to be pointed out that there are a lot of talented journalists in that building, one or two of them absolutely brilliant and it would be a shame to single one or two out for praise just because they have a good contact or two. Most of the people in there just do as they are told. Don't rock the boat. Has anyone interviewed poor Natasha Hamilton this week? Shame.

AnonymousNovember 27th 2008.

The Echo is ****e

AnonymousNovember 27th 2008.

You know, you've got a point there.

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