A roll-call of editors deserting Northcliffe Newspapers is published by the Press Gazette today. The latest is Brendan Hanrahan, who is leaving the Torquay Herald Express, apparently because of a disagreement over policy.
In a memo to staff he wrote: “Most of you will be aware there has been a major structure and policy review and change in Northcliffe in recent times. As a result, I’ve decided to step down as editor and director of Herald Express Publications Ltd.”
The PG goes on to list others:
In July 2005, editor Barrie Williams took early retirement from the Western Morning News in Plymouth after 10 years in the post, also citing policy and structural changes.
Other long-serving editors to have left Northcliffe since June last year include Mike Lowe at the Bristol Evening Post, David Gledhill at the Bath Chronicle, Sean Dooley at The Sentinel, Stoke, and Terry Manners at the Western Daily Press.
Last week, Graham Glen announced he was to leave the editorship of the Nottingham Evening Post.
Northcliffe is in the midst of a massive cost cutting programme which was outlined in a press release in March. The announcement said:
When the Aim Higher project was first announced in June 2005, it was expected to realise a reduction in costs throughout Northcliffe of at least Â£20 million p.a. within an 18 month period. In November this estimate was increased to Â£30 million p.a.
As a result of further development of the original project, together with the expected result of todayâ€™s announcement, we now expect the total reduction in Northcliffeâ€™s costs, excluding Aberdeen Journals [sold], to amount to at least Â£45 million p.a.
Last month I included those paragraphs in a post about the Gloucester Citizen moving its main editorial office out of the city to Cheltenham. In it I took the editor, Ian Mean, to task over something he had said. Roy Greenslade, in a generous reference to this post, supported Mean saying: “I’ve little doubt that he fought hard to maintain The Citizen in its rightful home.”
Looking at the list of editors resigning, I must believe this.
Will someone please tell me what is going on in Nothcliffe?