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Senior editors given new posts in Reach management shake-up

Reach squareReach plc has unveiled a major shake-up of its senior management and editorial structure which will see it launch a new intra-company wire service.

The regional publisher revealed yesterday it was set to shed 550 jobs and introduce a more centralised structure editorially, bringing together national and regional teams across print and digital to “significantly increase efficiency and remove duplication”.

Liverpool Echo editor Alastair Machray and Bristol Post editor Mike Norton are set to leave the business amid the changes, and the full story on their departures can be found here.

But Reach has also revealed further plans about how the fresh editorial structure will work, with a number of new senior management appointments being made.

The company will create the ‘Reach news wire’, which will be used to share content across the group and see the creation of several jobs for a team to be led by current Daily Mirror executive editor Michael Greenwood.

At a regional level, Reach’s Live network of local news sites will be relaunched in the autumn, with all sites sharing common style guides and publishing best practices.

This will be overseen by a digital publishing unit to be headed up by Ed Walker as audience and content director (Live Network).

Ed will continue to have editorial responsibility in this role for hyperlocal news service In Your Area.

Reach has also created four “marketplace publisher” roles to take responsibility for print brands and the “market positioning of products in local areas”.

Neil Hodgkinson will be marketplace publisher for the North East and Yorkshire, as well as local titles in Scotland, while Darren Thwaites will do the same in the North West and North Wales.

Marc Reeves will take up the post in the Midlands and Wales, with the new region also including Cheshire and Lincolnshire, while Bill Martin will be marketplace publisher for the South of England.

They will work side-by-side with geographic audience and content directors, who will be responsible for running local newsrooms and to whom local editors will report.

The audience and content directors will be:

– David Dick in Scotland, who will also continue to edit the Daily Record, with Kenny Barr staying on as head of Scottish regional titles.
– Helen Dalby in the North-East of England and Yorkshire.
– Alison Gow in the North-West of England and North Wales.
– Anna Jeys in the Midlands, Cheshire and Lincolnshire.
David Bartlett in London and the South-East of England.
Jacqui Merrington in the South-West, including Bristol, Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Paul Rowland will become audience and content director in Wales in addition to taking on additional digital strategic responsibility for the Live network.

Changes at a national level include Ceri Gould becoming editorial revenue director, which will see her oversee commercial content throughout Reach’s regional portfolio, and Liz Hazelton being appointed audience and content director (engagement).

Jon Birchall becomes audience and content director (sport), in charge of digital sports operations, while head of national sport Mike Allen will oversee sports coverage in print.

The pictures department will come together as one team, reporting into group head of pictures Michael Rye.

Photographers across the company will continue to be part of their brand teams under the new structure, but will work together as one network in a move the company believes will “improve the depth and breadth of our coverage, and be more efficient in the process”.

Reach’s regional shared content unit and advanced features teams in regionals and nationals respectively will also come together as one unit, led by Mernie Gilmore as head of content and Trudi Roche as head of production.