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Voluntary redundancies at Sunday World and Herald under staff merger

There is a quota of 13 job losses.

Updated 16.34pm

A SERIES OF redundancies has been announced at the Sunday World and Herald newspapers under a new merger.

A spokesperson for Independent News and Media confirmed there will be a total of 13 voluntary redundancies. understands that if this quota is not reached, management will be forced to look at involuntary redundancies to meet the quota.

“Employees have been informed and the company, with immediate effect, is engaging with its editorial staff to discuss the redundancies,” a statement from INM read.

The papers are introducing new work processes, involving reporters filing stories to digital formats first, rather than print.

The editorial staff of the Sunday World and The Herald will now work together.

“Fundamental restructuring”

Stephen Rae, INM editor-in-chief, said the moves were part of a “fundamental restructuring of the production and reporting process”.

Similar changes have already taken place in the Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, and The Herald.

It is understood that Alan Steenson, editor of The Herald, has had several meetings already with his counterpart in the Sunday World, Colm MacGinty, prior to today’s merger.

Both papers have a similar focus on crime and showbiz, with The Herald being more Dublin-orientated, and still running a daily evening edition.

It was rebranded from the Evening Herald in March of last year.

An insider source told that “the Sunday World brand is considered to be strongest, especially taking in their readership figures”.

“It would be essentially in the driving seat,” they added.

Showbiz writer Amanda Brunker, currently one of the most high-profile names in the Sunday World, is one of those whose byline would be expected to potentially appear across seven days under the merger.

There will also be a link-up between the crime coverage in two papers, considered to be the forte of the Sunday World which has in the past run advertising campaigns for their coverage featuring reporters such as Nicola Tallant, Mick McCaffrey and Eamon Dillon.

Twitter was already speculating on a potential new name:

Figures from February this year put the Sunday World’s circulation at over 208,000, a fall of 4.1% from the period from July to December 2013, while The Herald had more than 56,000, a fall of 4.6%.

In January, an editing and design office used by Independent Newspapers was closed, with the loss of 50 jobs.

Originally published 10.42am

Read: INM sees group revenue decline, but digital advertising revenue is up >

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