Up to 100 jobs go as newspaper group ‘modernises’

DC THOMSON, the Dundee-based publishing company, announced last night it is cutting up to 100 jobs as it restructures its operations to deal with the downturn in the economy and changes in the newspaper and publishing world.

In an e-mail to staff, Andrew F Thomson, the chairman of the company which owns the Courier, Sunday Post and the Press and Journal, as well as a large magazines division, said 154 jobs were at risk.

However, Mr Thomson said some posts would also be created as it moves to new technology and upgraded premises, and cited its decision to invest more than £25 million in new plant in Kingsway, Dundee and reshape its Meadowside operation.

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“The cost of producing and distributing our titles to market is ever-increasing, which is why we’ve made the decision to invest and modernise, rather than to see our business decline,” he said.

“We have announced our intention to enter into consultation with Dundee staff members in production, transport and distribution, facilities, circulation, the programme management office, photosetting, digital print and the front counter of the Meadowside retail shop.

Mr Thomson added: “The new production investment requires very different staffing levels – we’re actively considering having third parties distribute our titles, and the move to just one Dundee office base, combined with upgraded technology, will change the needs of the business.”

Mr Thomson wrote that although 154 jobs were at risk, fewer than 95 people would actually leave the business as there would be “a significant number of new roles available”.

In 2010, the company axed 350 posts when it closed the printing unit that produced the firm’s famous Beano, Dandy and Judy annuals.

Last year, DC Thomson entered into consultation with around 70 of its workers at its printing plant in Port Dundas over a proposed closure of the site.