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Regional daily editor moves on after seven weeks in job

A regional daily editor is moving to a new job just seven weeks after taking up her current role.

Gillian Gray , left, moved from the Wigan Evening Post on 2 April after 15 years to take up the editorship of the Blackpool Gazette.

But after just seven weeks in Blackpool, Gillian has now been named as the new editor of Preston-based sister title the Lancashire Evening Post.

The move was announced to staff on Friday as part of a shake-up that will also see several senior editorial figures leaving the company.

Gillian takes over in Preston from Simon Reynolds, who left the paper last month as part of a wide-ranging restructure by owners Johnston Press.

As well as editing the Post, she will also assume control of sister weekly the Chorley Guardian.

The move means the Gazette job now goes to John Rhodes, who was previously the news editor.

Alison Bott, who was deputy editor of the Gazette and whose job had been due to disappear as part of the restructure, has opted to take redundancy and left the paper on Friday.

Also leaving is Steve Brauner, the former North West Evening Mail and Crain’s Manchester Business editor who joined JP in 2010 as editor of the Lancaster Guardian.

And Garstang editor Richard Machin has already left to take up the role of news editor of the North West Evening Mail.

The Lancaster and Garstang roles are being merged as part of the restructure, but it understood that Steve has opted for redundancy rather than take on the combined role.

It means a late reprieve for Nicola Adam, whose role at the Chorley Guardian disappeared as part of the restructure and who had been at risk of redundancy as part of the changes.

However Mike Hill, whose job as deputy editor of the LEP was also due to disappear, is to be kept on in a new role with a roving editorial brief.

He has been appointed associate editor of the LEP, but with a wider brief that also includes Blackpool.

The latest changes come as journalists at the LEP warn that they will consider strike action in the event of any compulsory redundancies at the newspaper.

The warning came in a letter to Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield from the paper’s National Union of Journalists chapel.

It read: “The brutal removal of editorial director, Simon Reynolds, and the decision to make redundant positions of other senior management within the business has left the employees of the company stunned and concerned about their own futures.

“We are disgusted by the actions taken against these members of staff who have served the Lancashire Evening Post Ltd and Johnston Press¬† with distinction for considerable periods and built the title to be worthy of the title of the best in the North West of England.”

The chapel says it will hold a ballot for industrial action in the event of a single compulsory redundancy affecting any NUJ chapel member.

Johnston Press did not wish to comment on the letter.


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  • May 22, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Is it me or does all this sound chaotic, expensive, made up on the hoof and demoralising for all concerned ?

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  • May 22, 2012 at 9:35 am

    All of the above. They’re clearly making it up as the go along without a strategy or management competence. This is what happens when companies are run by people whose main skill is corporate bull-speak, and whose seniors are just better and more experienced at it.

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  • May 22, 2012 at 9:56 am

    I am sure Johnstone Press aren’t panicking but this random restructuring gives the impression they are

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  • May 22, 2012 at 10:26 am

    And who’s got the Wigan job? Or it it going to be done by Gill/Mike/Nicola? Wouldn’t put owt past JP…….

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  • May 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    A total farce.
    By all accounts, both AB and MH were offered the Blackpool job but both turned it down.
    Both AB and JR applied for the Gazette job back in the spring when Gill Gray was ultimately appointed.
    Neither of them got to the final stages of the interview process.
    I genuinely fear for the Gazette after this. Its management structure is now Editor then deputy news editor. No deputy, no news editor. I’m sure that may change but at the moment it looks rather worrying

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  • May 24, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Farcical – I’m sure they’ll appoint a news editor.

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