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Journalists with more than 100 years’ combined service leave daily after cuts

Three journalists with 107 years of service between them have left a regional daily in a restructure which will see its print operation merge with that of a sister title.

HTFP reported earlier this month on the changes by Reach plc affecting the Manchester Evening News and Huddersfield Daily Examiner, which the company said would involve a net loss of seven roles at the latter.

It has since emerged that head of content Andy Hirst, business editor Henryk Zientek and features writer Hilarie Stelfox have all left the business, while a football writer at the Examiner is currently appealing his redundancy.

Both Hilarie, pictured, and Henryk have been with the Examiner for more than 38 years, while former crime writer Andy had spent 31 years with the newspaper.


In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Hilarie wrote: “And it’s goodbye from me… I’m leaving the Examiner after 38 years. Tomorrow’s my last day in the office.”

Henryk had been business editor for 30 years at the time of his departure on Friday, while it is understood Andy left the business on Wednesday.

Two news reporters, Joanne Douglas and Louise Cooper, are also understood to have departed, while staff photographer Simon Morley has returned to freelancing.

It is understood that the Examiner’s new structure comprises a management team of three, led by editor Wayne Ankers, plus eight reporters and one photographer.  Production is now being handled at the new centralised regional print unit based in Manchester.

Reach has not responded to HTFP’s request for a comment, but a spokesman previously said: “It’s a restructure to accelerate our digital audience growth and consolidate our print publishing into a single regional unit.

“This is in keeping with the Live newsroom model we’ve implemented elsewhere in Reach.”


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  • August 1, 2018 at 11:29 am

    I don’t blame these three – and the others who will doubtless follow them – for jumping ship while there’s still a redundancy lifeboat in the vicinity. Both titles are heading in the same direction. – downwards – and the rocks on the horizon are getting nearer by the day.

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  • August 1, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Expertise, local knowledge, good journalism, long service, all fine attributes no longer respected, or even required, in the new digital clickbait world of local churnalism. To those leaving, all the best for the new chapter in your lives outside newspapers, they are lesser without you all.

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