A regional daily which has already lost its editor and deputy is facing a raft of additional departures among its senior editorial staff.
Now it has emerged that several other senior staff at the paper have applied for voluntary redundancy under a Johnston Press scheme open to all its Yorkshire journalists.
They include the chief sub-editor, Bob Holmes, news editor Phil Booth and Paul Whitehouse, who is news editor at sister title the Yorkshire Evening Post.
Also on his way is award-winning investigations editor Rob Waugh, the reigning Daily/Sunday Reporter of the Year at the Regional Press Awards.
Union leaders have voiced concern about the loss of such a clutch of experienced journalists.
Chris Morley, Midlands and Northern organiser for the National Union of Journalists said: “When a paper loses that amount of seniority and experience, questions have to be asked about the company’s commitments to its flagship titles.”
Helen Oldham, managing director of Johnston Press Yorkshire, confirmed that all four had applied for voluntary redundancy but stressed that it may be some weeks or months before they actually leave.
“Whilst we have accepted their applications in principle, no leaving dates have been given yet, so it may well be months rather than weeks before they go,” she told HTFP.
Helen also confirmed that the current spate of departures were not the result of any company restructuring.
She said: “There’s no major restructure planned although it’s inevitable that a new editor will look at the set up with a fresh pair of eyes and may want to make some changes as a consequence.”