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Editor quits as Trinity Mirror merges roles in ‘strategic review’

David AtkinA weekly editor has left his post after publisher Trinity Mirror decided to merge his role with the editorship of a daily sister title.

David Atkin, left, who began his career at the Scunthorpe Telegraph and became its editor four years ago, worked his last day at the paper on Friday.

Grimsby Telegraph editor Michelle Lalor will now take responsibility for both newspapers after Trinity Mirror, which bought them as part of the £220m Local World deal last November, decided to merge the editor roles.

It is understood that up to four other jobs could be at risk at the Scunthorpe paper, but the company has declined to comment on this.

David’s is the latest in a series of senior editorial departures which have taken place at former Local World titles across the country in recent weeks.

Other editors at the group to have left over the past month include Paul Brackley, of the Cambridge News, the Leicester Mercury’s Kevin Booth and Neil White, of the Derby Telegraph.

Michelle took over at Scunthorpe on Monday, after what TM described as a “strategic review of the overall GSMG editorial operation.”

The publisher said David has decided “not to pursue” the joint editor role.

Said David: “It has been a privilege to lead such a talented and hard-working team in Scunthorpe and I would like to thank them for all their efforts, which were recognised when the Scunthorpe Telegraph was named the 2015 O2 Weekly Newspaper of the Year for Yorkshire and Humber.

“Their ability, dedication and enthusiasm is of the highest order. Michelle is a first class editor and under her guidance the business will go from strength to strength.”

David began his career in Scunthorpe in 1995, and has spent most of his career there save for a brief spell at the Lancashire Evening Post.

He has also previously served as Grimsby Telegraph news editor and assistant editor, and was deputy editor in Scunthorpe between 2005 and 2012, when he stepped up to the paper’s editorship.

Michelle said: “I started my career in Scunthorpe and am therefore delighted to be taking responsibility for what is a brilliant weekly publication and daily digital offering.

“David and his team are to be congratulated for the work they have done and I hope to carry that on, in addition to my continued development of the Grimsby products.”

Mike Pennington, Trinity Mirror regional MD for Humber and Lincoln, added: “I would like to place on record my thanks to Dave Atkin who has done a great job along with his staff in developing the Scunthorpe Telegraph over the last four years and I wish him well in the future.

“I am delighted that Michelle is taking over the reins for both Grimsby and Scunthorpe Telegraph and whilst they are two distinctive areas there is plenty of collaboration between the two businesses.”

18 comments

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  • May 4, 2016 at 7:39 am
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    So David “decided not to pursue” the joint editorship role. This is presumably in exactly the same manner the other recently acquired, and even more recently jettisoned, ex-LW editors came to their “individual decisions” to leave the business. Good luck to you David… and others should be very aware they too will very soon be making the same decision.

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  • May 4, 2016 at 8:30 am
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    Trinity Mirror spent years using their editors to cull reporters and photographers up and down the country.
    And now they’ve used the last few years to chop the editors out of the picture.
    It’s frightening to consider the quality of people that have been lost from our once proud industry.
    Who’s next? The directors? Maybe they should have gone first.

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  • May 4, 2016 at 8:36 am
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    If you are a teacher or a doctor you have to be spectacularly incompetent to lose your job.
    But if you are a journalist, particularly an editor, you can get kicked out at the drop of a hat, no matter how good you are.
    Best of luck to all those affected.

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  • May 4, 2016 at 8:37 am
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    Oh, the collective ‘delight’ is simply too much! Flowers and meadows and fluffy bunnies abound!
    In reality, a journalist has lost his job, more could follow, and the workload is going to be spread out among those who must struggle on in their stead.
    There seems little to be delighted about to me. Good luck to all those affected.

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  • May 4, 2016 at 8:54 am
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    Instead of posting the same comments I’ll just draw your attention to last weeks ‘editor leaves, quits, jumps ship,Persued opportunities outside of journalism,gets the push etc etc etc’ piece
    Another week , another culling in the editorial killing grounds, those that remain must feel like they’re in a car teetering on the edge of a cliff just waiting until the next wind of change blows through and takes a few more passengers obe the edge with it

    Good luck to ( fill in name here)

    http://www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk/2016/news/editor-departs-regional-daily-in-same-restructure-as-predecessor/

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  • May 4, 2016 at 10:00 am
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    Does anyone know what TM are up to because they don’t seem to? Down here we have two acting editors for three print titles and a freshly minted web/social media supremo ex-print editor, sorry digital strategist, who seems to be queen bee but without a hive worth promoting or monetising. You truly couldn’t make it up.

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  • May 4, 2016 at 10:41 am
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    This is quite literally how the Roman Empire fell, with people in Istanbul calling the shots in Gaul.

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  • May 4, 2016 at 11:39 am
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    Personally I like working in digital media because of its NOW factor BUT it seems all the big companies are clueless about how to make some real money from it.
    Meanwhile lots of talented print people have lost or will lose jobs.
    In my own company JP we have lost some superb local journos who knew their patches and the business top to bottom. It shows.

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  • May 4, 2016 at 12:17 pm
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    digifan: Yes, agreed. I was blogging as editor of a national finance magazine 15 years ago and was assured this was “the way forward”. Since then that site has made £00.00 profit and cost a fortune to maintain. It’s not the technology that worries me, it’s the fact no-one in our sector has got it to yield sustainable profits, perhaps because it can’t. As for the talented print people – they’re an endangered species, especially in executive-riddled corporations with expense accounts and company 4x4s to maintain.

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  • May 4, 2016 at 2:21 pm
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    The Daily Mail online is the problem, it became the biggest online news source in the world through peddling tat, so everyone has gone down the same route.

    Online is changing all the time, people read on mobile during the commute and read on their tablets at home, it’s no different to having a newspaper and the same good quality content would work. The problem is nobody’s interested.

    Pontius Pilate had more developed digital skills than most of the people at the top in your average newsroom, it’s like watching Stevie Wonder leading Ray Charles around a funhouse.

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  • May 4, 2016 at 2:26 pm
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    Best of luck Dave. It was lovely working with you when you were based in MK x

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  • May 4, 2016 at 3:49 pm
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    When it comes to marketing, the Daily Mail is probably the most professional newspaper in the world, but its integrity is zilch.
    Chartered accountants read Money Mail, Labour supporters its Letters Page, and for women you can’t beat its fashions. Sport is top notch.
    But nearly every “news” story is a political comment, and its right wing columnists are all raving (or just writing for the money).

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  • May 4, 2016 at 3:57 pm
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    Digifan, Dick & Jeff….

    No publisher is making money from digital. The mail online, whilst having a massive audience, is still loss making. Surely publishers should look at the Metro, Evening Standard or the i (pre-JP). In the case of the i, it was launched in the middle of the decimation of classified ad revenues that had propped up so many titles for so long. Looking at the 3 titles, the formula seems pretty simple, good content, well designed papers that are attractive to readers and advertisers with a small cost or free. All the while regionals cut back or content and quality and habitually increase cover prices.

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  • May 4, 2016 at 4:30 pm
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    And once again we all pile in with speculation and opinion, using the snippets of information to support our views even without the facts.

    A man has had to make a life-changing career decision. Lets not that get lost in our thinking peeps.

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  • May 4, 2016 at 4:48 pm
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    Damned: of course he has, just like the five before him in the past fortnight and the 13 TM editorial staff in the SW, and the photographers in the SE… need I go on? David has NOT “made a life-changing career decision” it’s been made for him. Don’t fall for the bull, peep.

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  • May 4, 2016 at 5:58 pm
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    @damned
    If you believe he had to make a life changing decision then you’re not looking at the facts and the lead up to this piece ,the decision was taken for him like it will be for many more in the regional press in the months to come; jumped,pushed persuing opportunities outside the industry call it what you like the culling goes on and on

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  • May 4, 2016 at 8:38 pm
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    Very best wishes for the future Dave, hope to see you and the other casualties on Friday.

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  • May 5, 2016 at 7:41 am
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    KISS: keep it simple stupid, ES has reinvented itself. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were not here a decade ago or so and will probably be away in another 10 years. Video killed the radio star but it grew instead. Print will survive you all need to get out a bit more.

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