300 journalists are to vote on strike action at National World in an ongoing pay dispute with the publisher.
It comes as National World has confirmed that it is considering buying Telegraph Media Group.
In a statement to the Stock Exchange, it said:
“The Board continues to evaluate accretive opportunities to grow the business and will consider participating in a sale process for Telegraph Media Group as and when such a process formally commences. There can be no certainty that an acquisition will take place nor as to the terms of such an acquisition.”
Last year, National World said it was exploring the acquisition of Reach, which it later abandoned.
The owner of JPI Media and Insider Media is facing more immediate problems, with journalists opposing a 4.5% pay award.
The National Union of Journalists explained that this had been rejected by more than a dozen NUJ chapels and was followed by a vote of no confidence in Executive Chairman, David Montgomery.
The union, which said it had continued talks through Acas, has also raised concerns about redundancies after “more than 50 journalists had their roles placed at risk.”
“The number of staff who’ve chosen to leave National World in recent weeks is a direct reflection of how little faith is left in a management whose only strategy appears to be ‘more for less’.” said a National World Group Chapel spokesperson.
“If the board are serious about building a long-term future for the business then they should be investing in their journalists, not slashing jobs at nationalworld.com and in many other newsrooms around the country.
“It’s time to finally start paying editorial teams properly for their work, giving them the training and managerial support needed to produce quality journalism, and treating them with basic respect.”
The ballot is set to close on 31st August.