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Irvine quits as MEN editor in major Trinity Mirror reshuffle

Rob Irvine 1A major editorial reshuffle is under way in Trinity Mirror after Manchester Evening News editor-in-chief Rob Irvine announced he was standing down.

Rob, pictured, will leave the MEN after six years in charge at the end of March, with his job going to Newcastle Chronicle editor Darren Thwaites.

In turn, Hull Daily Mail editor Neil Hodgkinson will widen his Lincolnshire and Humberside brief to include Darren’s current titles in the North East.

Helen Dalby and Sarah Lester, heads of digital in the North East and Manchester respectively, will also step up to become the senior editor in their centres.

Rob took over at the MEN in March 2012 from Maria McGeoghan having previously edited the North Wales Daily Post.

He said: “It has been a privilege to be editor of the Manchester Evening News and to have led such a talented team of journalists. We have tackled the ever-changing landscape of multi-media journalism to build a local, national and global audience. What matters to our readers matters to us.

“We offered a place for the people of Greater Manchester to come together when our city suffered a murderous act of terror which claimed 22 innocent lives in May last year.

“We raised millions of pounds for the bereaved and those most affected, and through our We Stand Together campaign we are helping to heal our city’s wounds. Now it’s time for me to hand over the reins.”

Born in Stockport, Rob began his career as a reporter at the Warrington Guardian in 1987 and also worked for the Derby Telegraph, Bradford Telegraph & Argus and Liverpool Echo.

He spent seven years as Daily Post editor in Llandudno before landing the MEN job, widely seen as one of the biggest in regional jounalism.

Trinity Mirror Regionals editorial director Alan Edmunds said: “Rob has been an outstanding editor of the MEN and the skill and sensitivity with which he steered the coverage of last year’s Arena atrocity, championing the incredible spirit of Manchester, was testament to that.

“He leaves with our huge thanks and very best wishes.”

Alan described Darren as “one of the company’s leading editors-in-chief and will be terrific in his new role”.

He added: “He knows the region very well, having started his career on the Huddersfield Examiner, and is relishing such a fantastic opportunity. Darren pioneered our hyperlocal strategy when editor in Teesside and led the implementation of our digital-first newsroom model in Newcastle ahead of it being rolled out across our regional centres.

“Neil’s vast experience and skill also equip him brilliantly to make the most of the new opportunities created by leading a wider region.

“I’m also delighted for Helen and Sarah. They have both been key to much of our digital success and will do a superb job of helping to lead us through more change.”

8 comments

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  • February 13, 2018 at 3:19 pm
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    “He knows the region very well, having started his career on the Huddersfield Examiner.”
    Does this mean West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester are more or less the same place, at least in the minds of newspaper executives?

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  • February 13, 2018 at 6:10 pm
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    So the editor of the Hull Daily Mail will also be editor of the Newcastle Chronicle? And they wonder why circulations are plummeting…

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  • February 13, 2018 at 7:20 pm
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    Did he genuinely, actively decide to quit, or was he involuntarily ‘quitted’? Beyond a bland, vague, gritted-teeth platitude about its being “time for me to hand over the reins”, this report neither explains why he is leaving nor states where – career-wise or for other purposes – he is going.

    Maybe he really did stand down by choice, but the tacit implication is he is merely the latest regional editor axed with no public explanation and is presumably contractually obligated not to reveal the true scenario.

    Even if it is a bona fide resignation of his own volition, his specific reasons and next career step should be mentioned in the report.

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  • February 14, 2018 at 10:25 am
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    The trend towards multi-editing is very unhealthy. They simply cannot do a good editing job on more than one paper and we all know it. But then I suppose I would take the job if I was desperate. Not every one has a choice.

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  • February 14, 2018 at 12:44 pm
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    Will the Hull Daily Mail also be doing a slip edition for Aberdeen?

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  • February 14, 2018 at 5:18 pm
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    The sad truth, despite the constant claims of working with ‘talented teams’ and ‘what matters to the reader matters to us’, the recording the newspaper groups is anything but.
    Rob Irvine was a talented reporter who broke into newsdesk and then editing roles, with a desire for quality.
    I have no doubt there is talent still within regional newspapers, but it is in short supply only because reporters, writers, subs, designers and photographers are in short supply.
    And now editors.
    It is beyond the bounds of reason to expect a newspaper to really put ‘what matters to our readers’ up front and centre when editors are being starved of talent, even bodies, and then being asked to spread themselves thinly.
    Sad that someone like Rob has gone, but secretly, apart from the money, which I’m sure was no longer sufficient reimbursement for his efforts, he’ll be glad it’s all over.

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  • February 15, 2018 at 12:39 pm
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    @SaddenedJourno
    I beg to differ when you say “ there is talent still within regional newspapers, but it is in short supply only because reporters, writers, subs, designers and photographers are in short supply”
    They’re not in short supply ,there’s plenty of them about ,the sad fact of life is that they’re no longer valued by the larger dinosaur publishers who have systematically dumped them for the cheap quick easy to manage option and where accuracy and quality are seen only as hindrancesvto getting the job done.
    Where they are thriving is with the many new independent local publishers who value experience, local contacts and honest to goodness hyper local journalism

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