AddThis SmartLayers

Daily editor set to leave after six years in redundancy plan

Peter JohnA regional daily editor is at risk of redundancy under a plan which would see him leave his role three days before Christmas.

Newsquest has confirmed the proposed departure of Peter John, who has edited the Worcester News for the past six years and is also regional editor for the company’s Midlands South and Gloucestershire division.

The plan was revealed in an announcement from Julia Lancett, the division’s managing director, which it is understood was issued on Friday afternoon, prior to the News editorial staff’s Christmas meal.

Over the past month, Newsquest had made a series of job loss announcements at other publishing centres including Blackburn, Bolton, Bradford, Gloucestershire, Oxford, Wiltshire and York, with a total of 34 editorial roles, including Peter’s, set to be lost.

Peter has been in charge at the News since 2011, and was publisher at its Stourbridge division prior to that.

He is the latest in a series of senior Newsquest editors to leave the company over recent months including Gary Lawrence (Oxford Mail and Swindon Advertiser), Graeme Smith (The Herald, Glasgow) and Graham Shields (Glasgow Evening Times.)

Julia’s memo, which has been seen by HTFP, states: “The company continues to look at all functions and disciplines across the business and where appropriate implement reorganisations or consolidations of functions to deliver efficiencies and reduce costs.

“There is a need to reduce costs and deliver efficiencies in the editorial team across Midlands South/Glos, and as a result the company is proposing to make the role of regional editor redundant.

“It is with regret therefore, that under these proposals the role of regional editor for Midlands South/Glos will be placed at risk of redundancy with immediate effect with a proposed termination date of 22 December 2017, although this date is subject to confirmation.

“As with any reorganisation, it is the policy of the company to avoid unnecessary redundancies wherever possible and in an effort to do so it will now undertake a consultation process with those staff affected to discuss potential ways of doing so. In the meantime, if you have any queries at all, please do not hesitate to contact me.”

In September this year, a restructure of the Midlands South and Gloucestershire division, saw John Wilson, Peter’s deputy in Worcester, effectively swap places with Michael Purton, editor of three Newsquest weeklies in Gloucestershire.

Michael is now deputy editor for the Worcester operation, while John has taken on Michael’s old titles and Newsquest’s Herefordshire weeklies.

A Newsquest spokesman said: “Whilst regrettable, we can confirm there is a proposal to make the role of regional editor redundant.”


You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • December 11, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    So another highly talented and hugely experienced journalist is dumped by Newsquest, although I suspect Peter will be glad not to have to cut any more corners, either in staff numbers or quality. Good luck in the real world – there are organizations out there that care.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(31)
  • December 11, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    The Worcester News has a tiny circulation, compared to the size of the city and surrounding area. I could see it going weekly, maybe combined with Berrows Journal.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(12)
  • December 11, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    ‘Tis the season for Newsquest culling…they did the same 12 months ago when they gradually annihilated the hubs at Newport and Weymouth – and have carried on apace ever since.

    A lot of talented people have been lost in those ensuing months – Peter just the latest of them.

    To the rest of you, I advise you to get out as soon as you can.

    Newsquest, or course, is owned by American conglomerate Gannett, whose website proclaims itself to be “a modern media company acting as a force for the greater good. And in doing so, we’re fostering deep and vital connections between the members of our communities and the world around them.”

    Hardihardihar. Oooh look, there goes Santa!

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(20)
  • December 12, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Another day and yet another announcement of closures or redundancies at NQ which even the laughable opening of a weekly cannot detract from a whole load of staffers suddenly facing Christmas jobless,but let’s be honest who’d want to work for a company that wholesale dumps staff across the business to try to limit commercial losses and who are afraid to use plain English as in “…appropriate implement reorganisations or consolidations of functions to deliver efficiencies ..” is Jim Hacker writing their press releases these days?
    at least NQ are being consistent in their long winded stock HR messages with regards to huge numbers of redundancies which, lets remember, definitely isn’t a company wide directive simply a few local job cuts made by local managers.
    Courage of their convictions anyone?

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(22)
  • December 12, 2017 at 10:37 am

    “issued on Friday afternoon, prior to the News editorial staff’s Christmas meal.” Oh the pathos of it all……

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(18)
  • December 12, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I truly echo Gonzos message to those remaining to get out asap on your terms before you find yourself moved out due to ‘ a local job cut ‘ and among others chasing what few jobs are out there. They clearly don’t appreciate loyalty or length of service so in my view and looking at the many many jobs culled in the last few weeks alone it’s only a matter of time

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(11)
  • December 12, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    I guess we will have kids as green as Christmas sprouts running the papers soon.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(7)
  • December 13, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Good spot Norridge. To edit a paper you need more than the ability to throw a few stories on a page. Need experience of life too. Losing editors with real experience is bad news.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(4)
  • December 13, 2017 at 10:07 am

    A great shame to see yet another experienced daily editor shown the door by Newsquest.
    By my reckoning, Peter was one of just two experienced daily editors left standing. It would seem as though experience is mistaken for awkwardness in Newsquest’s view of daily editors.
    The good news for Peter, as proven by other ex-Newsquest daily editors who have ‘stood down’ in recent years, is that life on the outside is infinitely less stressful and more enjoyable.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(2)