AddThis SmartLayers

Regional publisher axes managing director for second time

Bob CuffeA managing director who returned to a regional publisher after being made redundant has lost his job for the second time.

Bob Cuffe announced on Twitter that he has been made redundant again by Trinity Mirror, joking if it happens again he “keeps the trophy” – a reference to the fact that Brazil were allowed to keep the Jules Rimet Trophy in 1970 after winning the World Cup for a third time.

Bob, pictured, initially served as TM’s Teesside MD from 2007 to 2011, and then took on responsibility for the wider North-East region until his role was axed in 2012.

He returned as MD in Middlesbrough in 2014, regaining his region-wide responsibilities in 2016.

In his post on Twitter, Bob wrote: “The company has reimagined the future. And it doesn’t include me. If I’m made redundant again I keep the trophy.

“Had a wonderful time and would like to thank colleagues [Teesside Gazette] and [Newcastle’s Chronicle Live] and wish them all the best for the future. And our splendid customers.

“My future is as a non exec. Been very proud to be a non exec director at [Darlington Building Society] and look forward to continuing with this, and hopefully securing one or two more in the near future. I’m sad, but will be absolutely fine.”

Mike Pennington, whose remit as a regional MD has so far included TM’s Humberside titles, will now add the North East brands to his portfolio.

A number of industry figures responded to Bob’s post on Twitter to pay tribute.

Ed Walker, editor (digital) for Trinity Mirror Regionals, wrote: “Sorry to hear this Bob. You did, however, go out having seen The Gazette notch up one of the most incredible pastry-based stories there will ever be. One to savour. Wishing you all the best for the future.”

Former Northern Echo editor Peter Barron added: “Sorry to hear this Bob. The regional media needs big characters who get out there and engage with communities. That’s what you’ve always done better than most. Best wishes.”

And Sophie Barley, news editor at Chronicle Live, wrote: “A sad day. Absolutely gutted. As someone has already said, you are The Gazette. And you were that much need familiar Teesside face when I moved to the Chron. Won’t be the same. Good luck Bob.”

Trinity Mirror declined to comment on Bob’s departure.


You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • April 23, 2018 at 10:34 am

    I want to hear more about the ‘incredible’ pastry-based story!

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(7)
  • April 23, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Trinity Mirror (sorry, Reach) declined to comment? Not even a few words to say how good a bloke Bob is?
    Utterly shameful.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(20)
  • April 23, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    They had form for this when I was there, my editor had been laid off twice and the advertising manager had too, the last time she was really broken and didn’t attempt to reapply.

    It’s because the company is utterly, utterly clueless and bereft of any sense of long term planning.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(19)
  • April 23, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Shameful actions by Trinity Mirror.

    Bob Cuffe was the dedicated but fun-loving advertising director at the Teesside Evening Gazette when I was editor from 2002-5.

    He was known by everybody – and I mean everybody – in business in Teesside, and at the time also penned an hilarious column for the Newcastle Journal.

    He was a good friend, but no push-over, regularly challenging what were then my probably too-precious editorial values. I learned a lot from him.

    But when push came to shove he was supportive. One day, an angry, major advertiser wrote to Bob promising never to advertise again while I remained editor (long story, but in short we covered this chap’s son’s conviction for drug dealing). Bob praised the story, and gave me a copy of the letter as a memento.

    I loved the fact that he became the main man in the NE for Trinity Mirror, hated how he was sacked, but then relieved that bosses had seen sense by reinstalling and promoting him back to that position.

    Bob lived and breathed the business and was a proud company man … doing everything anyone could in desperate times. To get rid of him again shows how directionless the business has become.

    He will be an asset to any company that wants to use his great experience and skills.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(49)
  • April 24, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    What a shambles – but not unexpected. Trinity Mirror have a record in getting rid of talent because of course they cost more – but there’s a reason for that. This is all about cutting costs as the business is driven in to oblivion. If ever there was evidence of a business accelerating it’s demise this is it. When Steve AD brought Bob back in to the fold I thought ‘great – what a sensible move to bring back someone as well liked and respected as Bob’ but I’m sad to say that the only decisions being made today are bad one’s.
    Bob, you’re better off out of it and I wish you every future happiness in whatever you decide to do.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(7)