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Telegraph to open media centre as redundancies loom

LONDON - Redundancies are looming at the Telegraph Group as part of the move to its new headquarters in Victoria and its investment in digital media.

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News of the redundancies came today as the Telegraph Group unveiled plans to invest in a multimillion-pound technology and training programme as part of its move to its new London Victoria headquarters and to create a fully integrated 24-hour digital newsroom.

In a letter to senior print managers at Telegraph Group, Murdoch MacLennan, chief executive of the group, conceded that "there will be some job losses" as a result of the integration of its print and online content, but exact numbers were still being discussed.

MacLennan said: "The proposed extent of these [job losses] is still under consideration. Consultations will begin with staff and staff representatives shortly. In due course, employees likely to be at risk of redundancy will receive a letter informing them of that, setting out the individual consultation process to be undertaken."

He added that the job losses were the result of duplication being eliminated from the Telegraph Group's business.

"As we have recently seen at the Financial Times, the integration of print and online inevitably produces considerable scope for reducing duplication of effort and for simplifying the editorial production processes," he said. 

The group said it would begin moving into new headquarters, which are expected to be fully operational by November, in two weeks' time and also said that plans for a new 80-page full-colour edition Telegraph will be finalised by the end of next month.

The Telegraph Group described its training programme as a substantial investment that would address the challenges of digital media, adding that the facilities were needed to keep the group ahead of its rivals.

"Everyone in the media -- print, broadcast and online, national and regional -- faces a tough and uncertain future as digital technology creates a myriad of new ways for our customers to receive their news, and also change forever the way it is gathered, processed and transmitted," MacLennan said.

MacLennan added that the programme was part of The Telegraph's commitment to training its staff "to take full advantage" of the opportunities that lay ahead with digital media.

He added: "The prize of our move, and of our huge investment in the future, is to become the cutting-edge group in the United Kingdom -- fully integrated, customer-focused, efficient and profitable."

The Telegraph Group will begin moving to its new offices on Buckingham Palace Road in two weeks' time.

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