Sheffield Star axes five senior journalists

Johnston Press is cutting five senior journalists at the Sheffield Star as part of a series of redundancies at the title, an announcement from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has said.

Picture editor Dennis Lound, business editor John Highfield, senior production manager Richard Smith, Barnsley reporter Gail Robinson and Rotherham reporter Ray Parkin are being made redundant.

An unspecified number of voluntary redundancies is also being sought amongst production staff and the paper’s offices in Rotherham and Barnsley will be closed.

The paper has entered a two-week consultation period with the affected journalists, who were told of their fate on Tuesday.

At a meeting last night staff at Sheffield Newspapers, which also publishes the Sheffield Telegraph, Weekly Gazette and Journal, passed a vote of no confidence in editor Alan Powell.

Staff will fight the cuts, the NUJ said, and are calling for a ballot on industrial action.

“Feelings are running high and people are angry. We feel The Star is paying the price for Johnston Press’s greedy spending spree over the last few years and bad decisions taken by JP’s senior management,” said Julia Armstrong, mother of Sheffield Newspapers’ NUJ chapel.

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