Friday, August 17, 2012

Harborough Mail to be edited from Kettering

Hold the Front Page has details of a Johnston Press internal memorandum proposing to axe three editors in a restructure its titles in the Midlands.

The titles affected by the move are the Northampton Chronicle and Echo, Northants Telegraph, Daventry Express, Harborough Mail, Leamington Courier and the Rugby Advertiser.

We are told that the memo says:
Following changes to the portfolio across Northamptonshire Newspapers, the company has carried out a strategic review of editorial management and production processes. As a result of this review, it is proposed to combine the editorial management responsibility of three newspaper centres. 
It is proposed that the Group editor in Northampton will also take on the responsibility for the Daventry Express; the editor’s role at Kettering will also take responsibility for the Market Harborough Mail and the role of editor of the Leamington Spa Courier would take responsibility for the newspapers in Rugby.
Times are hard in the local newspapers, but this sounds to me the move of an industry locked in a downward spiral. Why would people in Market Harborough be more likely to buy the Mail if a good editor is sacked and it is run by someone based in another town?

Later. I have heard from the Harborough Mail. They say that the paper will continue to be edited from Market Harborough by Alex Blackwell, with an editor-in-chief having an overview from Kettering. If that is how things pan out I shall feel more hopeful.

1 comment:

Tim said...

Johnson Prwss do indeed seem tone stuck into a cycle of decline.

In Calderdale, they have recently cut the daily Halifax Courier to a weekly publication. At the same time, our three very local weekly papers had their local offices closed and are now all produced centrally in Halifax.

The story at the time was all about a move to a multi platform publication, but in my view their website has also deteriorated since the change.

I posted a comment about this at the time.

On a larger scale, they have made significant staffing cuts at the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post, including bringing them both under a single editor.

There's no doubt in my mind that the shift to a weekly local paper is also massively changing public awareness and understanding of local news and issues.