A weekly editor was told his role is to be made redundant the day after his paper posted a 2.1pc sales rise in the latest ABC figures.
The Whitby Gazette was one of only 13 paid-for weekly titles across the whole of the UK to record year-on-year increases in circulation in the second half of 2012 according to the figures published last Wednesday.
But its editor, Jon Stokoe, is facing redundancy after publishers Johnston Press decided to combine his role with that of Scarborough News editor Ed Asquith.
Ed, who also edits the Malton and Pickering Mercury and Filey Mercury, is set to take charge of the Gazette later once a formal consultation on Jon’s role has been concluded later this month.
In addition, JP is proposing to sell the Gazette’s iconic offices, overlooking Whitby Harbour, with reporters and reception staff based at a smaller office in the town.
As well as the Gazette editor role, it is understood that one photographic role across the Gazette and its sister title is also at risk.
A Johnston Press spokesman would only say that they were currently going through a consultation process with some members of staff in Whitby.
However staff at the title have confirmed the proposed changes, with one insider describing the situation at the paper as “complete and utter turmoil.”
Jon, 38, has edited the Gazette for the past two years, following an 18 month stint at acting editor.
He has lived in Whitby since he was a boy and first joined the paper as a trainee reporter in 1995.
The Scarborough News, which moved from daily to weekly last year, itself posted an 11.5pc fall in circulation in last week’s figures when compared to the average weekly sale in the month after the frequency change last May, although its current average weekly sale is up 49pc on its last audited figure as a daily.
Its circulation now stands at 14,806 while the Gazette sells an average 9,540.