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Regional daily editor axed after more than five years in charge

David HelliwellA regional daily editor has left his role with immediate effect after being made redundant.

The CN Group has announced the departure of group editorial director David Helliwell, left, who also served as day-to-day editor of Carlisle-based daily the News & Star as part of his role.

David had been in charge in Carlisle, where he was also responsible for the Cumberland News, since 2011, when he left the top job at Blackpool-based daily The Gazette to take up the post.

CN editorial teams will now ultimately report to group development director Jonathan Lee, a former editor of the Barrow-based North West Evening Mail.

Chris Story will continue in his role as content editor at both the News & Star and the Cumberland News.  It is not clear whether a new editor for the two titles will be appointed.

David’s departure was revealed in a memo sent to CN staff this morning by group chief executive Miller Hogg.

It reads: “I wanted to let you all know that unfortunately David Helliwell’s role as group editorial director has been made redundant and David has left the business with immediate effect.

“Our editorial teams will now ultimately report to Jonathan Lee, Group Development Director. Those individuals directly affected have been communicated with separately about their new reporting lines.

“David has been with CN for five years as CNL editor/deputy publishing director and latterly as group editorial director. In that time he has been a loyal employee and has amassed multiple editorial awards across the industry.

“I am sure you would like to join me in wishing David all the best with his future career and we would like to thank David for his input to CN Group.”

David has also previously worked at both the Yorkshire Evening Post and Lancashire Evening Post, and was Gazette editor for eight years before moving to Carlisle.

Last year he was involved in the launch of 24, CN’s ‘national newspaper for the north’, which closed after less than six weeks in print.


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  • April 3, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Another fine editor chucked out with the wheelie bins.

    What a sorry and irrecoverable state our once splendid industry now finds itself in.

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  • April 3, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    It doesn’t say why he left with immediate effect so we must assume the company felt the position was deemed no longer necessary so yet another quote ” loyal employee” and established editor is cast aside adding to the pile of seasoned editorial heads moved on elsewhere in the regional press in recent months.

    Really not a good time to be an editor is it

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  • April 3, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    David Helliwell is a good editor and a decent person; traits that seem incompatible with current jobs in the world of newspaper management.

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  • April 4, 2017 at 8:49 am

    When the decision is taken to sacrifice quality for cheaper quick cost saving reasons the best employees are seen to be no longer a necessity more a luxury as must be the case here.
    Publishing groups such as CN and others clearly put no value on the end product as has been evidenced in editorial, photographic and commercial departments this past few years with the talent drain continuing unabated. It remains to be seen how costly these quick fix methods wil be in the long run.

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  • April 4, 2017 at 10:12 am

    David is a very good editor and a very good bloke. I’ve known him for 20 years from our time at the Yorkshire Evening Post and he’s always been passionate about the regions in which he’s worked, evidenced by his community work in Cumbria. I don’t know the circumstances of his departure but editors are a bit like football managers – sometimes they they get the blame for things that are beyond their control. I’ve no doubt that David will bounce back.

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  • April 4, 2017 at 11:07 am

    well they culled all the experienced reporters so now it is the turn of editors. who the hell with any experience is writing and editing papers now?

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  • April 4, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Now, let’s see if I have this right:

    We don’t need photographers

    We don’t need sub-editors

    We don’t need experienced reporters

    We don’t need editors

    There is only one conclusion that can – and is – being drawn from the above:

    We don’t need regional newspapers.

    If you don’t believe me, watch this space for the ABCs over the next couple of years.

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  • April 4, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    @sutler is on point and what the company heads don’t realise is they’re signing their own death warrants by shedding all their best staff,when they go quality goes and when that goes the appeal these dying titles once had goes with it.
    Good wishes to all those decent skilled and as here,ironically titled ‘loyal employees’ now you can sit back and watch those making theee short sighted self serving decisions pay the price of their rash actions

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  • April 5, 2017 at 9:19 am

    “now you can sit back and watch those making the short sighted self serving decisions pay the price of their rash actions”

    Employee X, those making the short-sighted self serving decisions won’t pay the price. They never do.
    When the day of reckoning comes they will have swanned off, no doubt with handsome severance arrangements, leaving others to deal with the debris.

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  • April 7, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Blimey how behind the times are this lot ‘ a memo’??
    I haven’t seen a memo since the mid 80s and since email became the way to break bad news ,you never know they may invest in email someday soon
    Good luck to David in his new ventures

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