FORTY-SIX print posts are at risk of redundancy in Aberdeen following an announcement by newspapers, comics and magazines publisher, DC Thomson.
Says a media statement issued by the company, the redundancy risk involves the printing of The Press and Journal newspaper, along with sister titles in the city, the Evening Express and the Aberdeen Citizen.
Begins the statement: “Aberdeen Journals has announced its intention to enter into consultation with production staff members based at its headquarters in Lang Stracht, Aberdeen.
“The proposal means that up to 46 jobs are at risk of potential redundancy in the company’s printing operation.”
The statement quotes a DC Thomson spokesperson as saying:“These proposed changes are necessary in the current market to ensure a strong future for our newspapers. We intend to work with our staff members to ensure the best possible outcome for each individual during this period.”
The statement adds: “DC Thomson is investing more than £25million in the future of printing by refurbishing the facility at Kingsway, Dundee. This incorporates the installation of a more cost-effective press model to deliver value, automation and enhanced performance features.”
The spokesperson is further quoted, as saying: “After a thorough investigation of all possible avenues to maintain an economically viable and sustainable printing plant in Aberdeen for the long term, we are actively exploring the option of printing all of our newspaper titles in Dundee.
“This would mean that The Press and Journal, Evening Express, Aberdeen Citizen and ScotAds would no longer be printed in Aberdeen and would be transported and distributed directly from a single print centre in Dundee.
“The company will always have a base in Aberdeen for our editorial and commercial teams. We are firmly committed to providing local news to local communities and we will continue to be located in the communities we serve. The company’s proposals are required, not only to stay competitive, but also to create new opportunities for the business and improve services for our customers.”
Local MSP, Lewis Macdonald, spoke of his regret, issuing his own statement, saying: “The end of newspaper production at the Lang Stracht will see several dozen skilled jobs lost to the local economy. It is also the end of an era for the newspaper industry in Aberdeen. The Press and Journal represents continuous newspaper production in the city since 1747; this decision means that regional newspapers will no longer be printed here, for the first time in more than two-and-a-half centuries.
“This is a setback for the critical mass of regional media produced in the city. Aberdeen is a strong regional media centre, not just within the newspaper industry but in other areas too, and anything which undermines that has to be a matter of regret.”