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Hertfordshire Mercury job losses?

Posted: Fri 24 Jun, 2016 3:43 pm
by Sniffer Dog
News from Press Gazette, journalism's industry magazine - for more see http://www.pressgazette.co.uk under 'regional' titles.

"Trinity Mirror confirms 12 job losses on Cambridge and Herts & Essex titles

Trinity Mirror has continued its nationwide restructuring of regional newsrooms with a further 12 redundancies planned across titles covering Cambridge, Hertfordshire and Essex.

A spokesman for the company, which bought regional publisher Local World in a £220m deal, confirmed seven roles were “at risk” on titles covering Cambridge and five at those covering Herts and Essex.

The titles affected all fall under what Trinity Mirror refers to as the Herts & Essex Newspapers region. They include the Herts & Essex Observer, Herts Mercury Series, Harlow Star Series and Mercury Midweek and the Cambridge News (daily) and Cambridge News & Crier (free weekly)."

Re: Hertfordshire Mercury job losses?

Posted: Fri 24 Jun, 2016 6:01 pm
by Steve
No surprises there.

They've been losing and not replacing staff for a while.

Their entire business model is broken.

Re: Hertfordshire Mercury job losses?

Posted: Tue 28 Jun, 2016 2:55 pm
by Drama Queen
Sadly I get more information about what is going on in Hertford in "Welwyn and Hatfield Times" than the Mercury ! Its appaulingly bad at having any news and seems to only put what is out in the broadsheets and tabloid papers already (ie: X Factor, Britain's Got Talent etc) rather than reporting of events going on in our towns and villages and things that people might want to get involved with. Its very sad there is no reason for it not to be able to let us know what news there is. Maybe a change at the top, new Editor, new business model and a real sense of offering the locality a proper local newspaper might help - we can but hope - I'd really like it to try a bit harder. It never reports on local theatre productions anymore so people don't even know what's going on at Hertford Theatre - unless its a professional comedian coming to town and then there's a double page spread !!!! It does seem biased against anything that the local groups put on in relation to good theatre, pantomimes, Drama Festivals, Talent competitions, concerts and recitals. Again, its okay if there's a professional involved but the point of a local paper is to report the local stuff not the national stuff... What do other Forum members think? Have you ever tried to get your event mentioned in the paper and told "no"? I would love to see answers on this from local Forum members....

Re: Hertfordshire Mercury job losses?

Posted: Tue 28 Jun, 2016 6:26 pm
by SloopJohnB
Sadly again DQ.

There was a time when the Mercury was a very local paper. They were major sponsors or at least amongst the rest for any or all local events. They sat on the committee of Fun Day and although they never donated a penny they donated at least half a page every week to the event. Adverts were free and calls for stalls and volunteers; and in the week before the event they produced a four page all colour programme free of charge. In terms of cost per rate card their contribution was immense. The Mercury Bus attended all events and gave out balloons etc even if the music was a bit too loud for some people's taste.

The editor and reporters made themselves known. I know many here were not too enamoured of Raymond Brown. He used to ring me up on Monday morning and ask what was going on in Hertford. I usually replied by saying that was why i bought a Mercury on Fridays. The others also rang me during the week about local scandals and dug in the local mud. Most of them became reporters for the investigative side but no matter they all wanted news, local news and local people making news. Slowly they all left because the emphasis was on smiley, happy people and grandmothers who flushed the pet hamster down the loo and found it a day later in the neighbours fish pond.

A word on Raymond. He organised the Stanstead River Festival, blockades against government cuts to the rivers and every year gave children from Chernobyl a week's holiday on his own houseboat. I think I should redress the balance. Yes, he was a bit (?!) controversial but he got people interested in local issues (not to mention tunnels) and me in hot water at East Herts. Happy days!

Over the last few years the Lord Illiffe sold the group to another group who sold it to Local World who have sold it to Trinity Mirror. It is about syndication of general Hertfordshire news and beyond and not about the local area. It is also about maximising revenue through advertising. I will not mention the website. :evil:

The trend is not going to be reversed any time soon, that's the sad part. I have a lot of sympathy with you DQ and your group. I know how hard such amateur companies work and you deserve greater coverage in the press. Until you do a full frontal Oh Calcutta i think you will remain outside the spotlight. The Mercury will fade like many other print based media. I sort of rely on this site and a few other Facebook based sites for local news and gossip because I have become a bit of a saddo and do not frequent the usual haunts any more. Perhaps I should.

My only advice to anyone working on the Mercury and they are based in the middle of town is to get out and walk the streets like I did and your predecessors did, talk to the local traders, ring up shy councillors, ask local societies for newsletters and when all else has failed buy burned out ex-Town Centre Managers a drink or two and we may get some local news again. News does not come knocking on your door.

Re: Hertfordshire Mercury job losses?

Posted: Wed 29 Jun, 2016 4:40 pm
by jasmine98
I wonder, what is the current circulation figure for the Mercury series compared with, say five years ago. I no longer buy the paper, and it is most difficult to read the on line version due to interrupting adverts each time. Sadly, it has lost its way. There are after all, other alternative sources of information.

Re: Hertfordshire Mercury job losses?

Posted: Wed 29 Jun, 2016 5:21 pm
by Golden
Jasmine - I only read the online version on my PC where I have AdBlock installed and this generally blocks 20-25 adverts per page so I recommend installing it. I never use the mobile site any more as its just impossible to read the article without interruption. I realise their income is realised even more by ads but surely they must realise its counter-productive?

With respect to job losses the 'journalists' at the Mercury really only rehash what is available on line from news and press agent sites so they won't really be missed and I can't see them going back to being the paper that John remembers.

Re: Hertfordshire Mercury job losses?

Posted: Mon 24 Jul, 2017 11:26 am
by Anou
Sniffer Dog wrote:News from Press Gazette, journalism's industry magazine - for more see http://www.pressgazette.co.uk under 'regional' titles.

"Trinity Mirror confirms 12 job losses on Cambridge and Herts & Essex titles

Trinity Mirror has continued its nationwide restructuring of regional newsrooms with a further 12 redundancies planned across titles covering Cambridge, Hertfordshire and Essex.

A spokesman for the company, which bought regional publisher Local World in a £220m deal, confirmed seven roles were “at risk” on titles covering Cambridge and five at those covering Herts and Essex.

The titles affected all fall under what Trinity Mirror refers to as the Herts & Essex Newspapers region. They include the Herts & Essex Observer, Herts Mercury Series, Harlow Star Series and Mercury Midweek and the Cambridge News (daily) and Cambridge News & Crier (free weekly)."



thanks for all the info very useful

Re: Hertfordshire Mercury job losses?

Posted: Tue 25 Jul, 2017 6:52 pm
by Darcy Sarto
Sad to watch the decline of a once reasonably upright organ of the press...

Is this a national thing or are there successful/sustainable local papers elsewhere? If so why can't someone start one here (not volunteering - just sayin')?

Re: Hertfordshire Mercury job losses?

Posted: Tue 25 Jul, 2017 10:24 pm
by Smudger
The Axis magazine is quite popular, so there must be a Market for local news ?

And at the end of the day, a lot of us still buy the Mercury - admittedly, mainly to complain how crap it is