Sources at The Star have confirmed that 23 people, out of a current staff of 111, will lose their jobs at the Independent group. The hardest-hit region will be Gauteng, where 13 sub-editors will lose their jobs. The sub-editing departments for all titles are to be assimilated into a new group known as Independent Production or IP.r /r /The restructure is to be completed by 1 March 2009.r /r /Star editor-in-chief Moegsien Williams and Peter Sullivan, group editor-in-chief for Independent Newspapers, would not comment. Independent’s CEO Tony Howard and executive director operations Nazeem Howa did not respond to email enquiries or return several voice message requests.
Anton Harber states on his blog , The Harbinger , that Williams wrote in a note, “the company !_LT_span id=”OBJ_PREFIX_DWT3789″ class=”Object”!_LT_span id=”OBJ_PREFIX_DWT3790″ class=”Object”today!_LT_/span!_LT_/span started a consultation process with editorial production staff on a restructuring proposal. Once properly consulted and approved, the process will lead to the establishment of a centralised subbing operation for the group’s daily and weekend titles as well as all inserts.r /r /”The retrenchment of editorial staff has become unavoidable even after deep cuts to the editorial cost base. In this regard, vacancies have been frozen, group operations curtailed and lifter services have been slashed.”r /r /A reliable source at the Daily Dispatch says that staff have been offered the opportunity to apply for voluntary retrenchment or early retirement. The deadline to do so is 19 December. If this is approved, staffers will leave at the end of December. However, if too few staff take up the offer, it will result in “inevitable job cuts”. r /r /The East London newspaper currently has 240 staff members. Sources could not confirm how many people this process would affect.r /r /When approached for comment Nathi Maramnco, chief operating officer for the Eastern Cape, said, ” I am not willing to discuss this.”r /r /Avusa’s CEO, Prakash Desai and all senior executives are on leave and unavailable for comment.