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Axed editor criticises ‘undignified and unpleasant’ exit from weekly

Simon BullAn editor has described his departure from a weekly newspaper series as “undignified and unpleasant” after being made redundant along with a sub-editor.

Simon Bull, left, has announced his departure from Newsquest after 10 months in charge at the News Shopper series, which covers parts of South London and Kent.

Newsquest has attributed the move to the “particularly challenging” free newspaper model in the capital.

Will Harrison, who edits titles including the South London Guardian series, has been appointed group editor for South London as a result of the change, and will add the News Shopper to his existing portfolio.

Announcing his departure in a post on his LinkedIn page, Simon wrote: “There I was happily being the proud editor of a newspaper I love when suddenly I’m hit out of nowhere by redundancy. This definitely wasn’t part of my plans.

“It’s been an undignified and unpleasant exit from Newsquest, but as upsetting as it’s all been, I’m determined not to let it beat me.

“Instead, I’m throwing myself into finding the next thing. I’m looking for a new home where I’ll be happy and where I can be the asset I’ve been everywhere else I’ve worked at – and I know that place is out there.

“Anyone who is looking for a very capable editor or web manager, or who has something else which could be suitable for my skills and experience, do please get in touch.”

Simon’s departure comes after it was last month revealed that Andy Parkes, group managing editor of Newsquest South London and Sussex, was facing redundancy.

A Newsquest spokesman said: “The free newspaper model in London is particularly challenging and we have had to take steps to change the way we work.

“Unfortunately, this has led to the loss of Simon’s role and a sub-editor role, and Will Harrison has been appointed group Editor for South London.

“Whilst the redundancies are regrettable, it means we can continue to invest in frontline reporters which are central to the continued success of our local news brands.”

Simon began his career on the Chichester Observer in 1995, and worked for Johnston Press in various Sussex-based roles including crime and courts reporter, features writer, sports editor and web editor.

He first worked for the News Shopper in 2003, serving as its website manager for seven years, before switch to work as group digital content editor at Archant’s London 24 website between 2010 and 2012.

He then returned to the News Shopper. serving as web editor before taking on his most recent post in July last year.

 

10 comments

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  • April 26, 2019 at 9:17 am
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    “It means we can continue to invest in frontline reporters which are central to the continued success of our local news brands.”
    Funny that, because NQ have said they won’t replace journalists if they leave, so don’t see how that is investing in them.

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  • April 26, 2019 at 11:04 am
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    How come when it’s a challenging market no sales reps are sacked for not doing their jobs effectively but journalists have to take the fall? The biggest enemy of journalism is the business side which is willing to threaten the democratic process signified by journalism for a bottom line.

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  • April 26, 2019 at 11:17 am
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    Chin up Simon. There is something better out there, you can be sure of it!

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  • April 26, 2019 at 12:09 pm
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    Totally agree @AcademicHack the sales floor where I am is as overpopulated with reps and managers as it was when sales were high and papers sold in their tens of thousands,ad reps also carry a high cost base yet still the cull of non commercial staff continues, are any publishers tackling this costly issue?

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  • April 26, 2019 at 12:56 pm
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    Good news for Simon is that almost everyone enjoys a better quality of life post-NQ.

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  • April 26, 2019 at 2:29 pm
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    I can’t see how the level of advertising sales staff can be justified against the revenues being brought in,they constantly miss targets, are way below y/y revenues which themselves are down on the previous years figures yet they still overflow the place when the business just isn’t there.
    We’ve been told advertising comes in from the web or over the phone these days yet the field rep numbers and the many levels of managers remain the same, there’s huge cost savings to be made with little or no effect to the business, harsh but ibviousvto me

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  • April 26, 2019 at 3:52 pm
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    Never mind the sales reps, what about the management? In fairness it isn’t restricted to NQ. There is nothing more or less challenging about the London market. But the newspapers are dire and the websites irrelevant, badly written, unimaginative and repetitive. People have no reason to pick them up the free papers and even less reason to seek out the websites.

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  • April 26, 2019 at 4:25 pm
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    In my experience departures from newspapers are often messy. It is to do with their lousy attitude to HR.

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  • April 26, 2019 at 5:05 pm
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    It is refreshing to see an axed editor speak emotionally, non-euphemistically and – presumably – sincerely, rather than just spout the usual exasperating bland, oblique, implicitly corporately-sanctioned platitudes about having enjoyed a long tenure, and its being time to move on and spend more time with their family, etc.

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