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Trinity Mirror unveils digital-only plan for Berkshire

Following a review of the Trinity Mirror Southern (TMS) portfolio, Trinity Mirror last week unveiled a "transformational" digital-only publishing plan in Berkshire. The company also announced the closures of titles in Surrey and West London.

Trinity Mirror says: This move will focus entirely on developing and growing the digital business around the getreading.co.uk website, which has achieved unrivalled market leading penetration in the area – in the last year monthly unique users have grown by 68% (Jan-Oct 213 to Jan-Oct 2014) and the site continues to show phenomenal audience growth.

Investment in the digital only operation, which will also include an app, will allow the site to concentrate on the four key areas of content that matter to the Berkshire audience, namely: breaking news, What’s On, Reading Football Club and sport.

Combined with data journalism and community content the site will deliver a groundbreaking package to the local audience.

Simon Edgley, managing director of Trinity Mirror Southern said: “This is a bold digital-only publishing transformation that will re-establish us as a growing media business that delivers the best quality journalism to our digital-savvy audience. We wholeheartedly believe that the future of our business here in Berkshire is online and this is an important and pioneering step that might, in time, be applicable to other existing markets or indeed new ones.”

As a result of this change the operation’s Berkshire print titles, namely Reading Post, getreading and Wokingham & Bracknell Times will close. This will see the reduction of approximately 17 editorial, three administrative and six commercial roles and the creation of around 10 new digital editorial roles and two digital commercial roles.

Further changes across the TMS portfolio are outlined below.

West London

A radical new structure is being implemented across the west London titles in Uxbridge, Ealing and Hounslow that focuses on driving more traffic to the getwestlondon website. The newsrooms are being restructured to support a revised print portfolio while concentrating on accelerated digital growth.

We intend to withdraw from the Harrow market and the Harrow Observer will close.

Surrey

A new edition of the Surrey Advertiser - that covers the additional areas of Chertsey and Addlestone – is launching in mid-December 2014. The new edition will ensure that consumers continue to receive the best possible coverage of local news and sport in the area.

The Surrey Herald, the Surrey Times and the Woking Informer will close.

As a result of these changes in west London and Surrey there will be a reduction of approximately 24 roles across editorial and commercial.

Simon Edgley added: “Decisions that impact our staff are never easy to make but they are absolutely necessary if we are to continue our transformation into a modern multiplatform publishing operation, with the flexibility and agility to invest and grow our news brands.”