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Editor Paul Horrocks to leave the Manchester Evening News

Paul Horrocks has today announced he is quitting as editor of the Manchester Evening News after 12 years.

After 34 years with MEN Media, Paul, pictured left, has decided to set up his own media and communications consultancy next year.

The announcement follows a turbulent few months for MEN Media, with more than 100 job losses and the relocation of all the company’s weekly journalists to the MEN newsroom.

Paul said today: “I wanted to see that process through, and oversee the move of our weekly newspaper journalists into Manchester, before departing. Through all that change, we have never lost our focus on community campaigns and quality journalism.”

Joining the MEN from the Daily Mail in April 1975, Paul worked as a reporter, crime correspondent, news editor, assistant editor and deputy editor before being appointed editor in 1997.

One of the longest-serving regional editors in the UK, he was president of the Society of Editors in 2007, served on the Press Complaints Commission from 2002 to 2006, and is a current member of the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

He also sits on the appeals board for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and is a non-executive director of MIDAS, which promotes business investment in Greater Manchester.

Paul will leave the MEN later this autumn, after which deputy editor Maria McGeoghan will be appointed acting editor pending the appointment of a permanent successor.

Said Paul: “I have had an immensely enjoyable and rewarding time as a writer and later editor of a great newspaper. It has taken me to some incredible places and I have met so many interesting people.

“Leaving after such a long time is a wrench, but it is the right time for me and my family. I leave on the best of terms with Mark Dodson and the rest of the management team and wish them every success in a tough environment.

“At the MEN we have created an integrated, multimedia newsroom that is the envy of many other publishing companies. It is an achievement I am proud of, and the whole editorial department shares in that.

“It has been a privilege to work for GMG and a privilege to work with such talented journalists, who always set the news agenda for Greater Manchester and will continue to do so.”

Mark Dodson, chief executive of GMG Regional Media, said: “Paul is a superb journalist who has excelled at the highest levels of his profession. He has led the MEN to countless editorial achievements and awards, and implemented one of the UK’s best examples of a converged news operation.

“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to him for everything he has done for the company over the last 34 years. While we are sorry to see him go, we wish him all the very best in his new venture.”

Carolyn McCall, chief executive of Guardian Media Group, added: “Paul has been a hugely important part of the success of the Manchester Evening News and GMG for many years.

“He has steered the paper through a period of unprecedented change in the regional press with total commitment to quality journalism and to building the MEN’s well-earned reputation for ground-breaking innovation. He will be greatly missed, and we wish him well for the future.”


Dave (21/09/2009 11:57:17)
Greatly missed but an odd move.
Guess things were just moving too fast for him.

Dan Depan (21/09/2009 12:45:17)
Could have been remembered as a good editor but ulrimately he will be the man who appeard to stand back and allow Dodson and Guardian Media kill quality journalism in Greater Manchester without making a stand (publicly at least) in support of the quality journalists he allowed to be culled. Expected better from him

Mr_Osato (21/09/2009 12:52:40)
A decent, if ultimately a bit wet, old-school editor moves on, no doubt to be replaced by the patented bright young buck straight off the production line who is too desperate to hang on to his job and keep climbing the greasy pole to stand up to management. Ultimately Horrocks probably didn’t either, or at least not enough, but at least he had the dignity not to become a shameless apologist like some – I seem to remember after one brutal cull him coming out with something along the lines of ‘we’ll see how good a paper we can produce now’.
And does the world really need another ‘meejah consultancy’?

Old Harry (21/09/2009 14:55:42)
Thanks Mr Osato – just remind us though, what was the key to your massively successful, long term and high profile career as a newspaper editor? What? You didn’t have one? Oh, sorry. Ignore the question.

Regional editor (retired) (21/09/2009 16:18:52)
Difficult to see how Horrocks can claim any success in his years at the MEN. He joined in 1975, with MEN sales (all paid-for) standing at (approx) 370,000 copies a day. He leaves with (paid-for) sales standing at, I suspect, less than a quarter of that. He certainly was not not the MEN champion he claims to be. It could be he was a large part of its problem, though I doubt his arrogance would allow him to consider that. Most editors of regional newspapers were given one simple rule by their employers. Increase circulation, or leave and we will find someone else who can. Horrocks seems not to have had to play by the same rules as the rest of us.

Sophia (21/09/2009 17:27:16)
I wont be missing him or his editorial bias, in fact I shall probably be happy to purchase the MEN after his departure, once I have made a full assessment of his replacement. Wish him well for the future, and I can only hope he grows old with dignity, honesty and integrity.

Steady On (21/09/2009 17:33:42)
@Regional editor: Bit harsh to blame the result of a UK-wide, long-term trend on one editor. Hard to think of many big city papers that have defied gravity over the same period. The MEN has had a rough time like most regionals recently but Horrocks is respected across the industry. Most will be wishing him – and the MEN – well.

Alan Salter (22/09/2009 09:59:35)
Now he’s going to find out who his friends are…

Dan Depan (22/09/2009 10:33:50)
Seems that even Horrocks could no longer turn a blind eye to Dodson’s increasingly ludicrous dumbing down of the MEN and its weekly bretheren. Might find he’s a little lonely at his leaving do as I don’t think that the “high regard” he is supposedly held in is felt by those who actually got caught in the crossfire of his inaction over the past five years