Two of the longest-serving daily newspaper editors in the UK will leave their roles amid major changes to a regional publisher’s editorial structure.
Reach plc has confirmed Mike Norton, of the Bristol Post, and Alastair Machray, of the Liverpool Echo, will depart the company after it announced yesterday it would be shedding around 550 jobs across the country.
Alastair, pictured left, has been an editor for 25 years, while Mike has edited the Post for 15 years, with four years spent in charge at the Derby Telegraph prior to that.
Maria Breslin will take over at the Echo, while no announcement has yet been made on Mike’s replacement.
Alastair and Mike’s departures come after Reach revealed plans in yesterday’s trading update to switch to a more centralised structure editorially, bringing together national and regional teams across print and digital to “significantly increase efficiency and remove duplication”.
The company has begun to announce details of the changes this afternoon, the full story of which can be found here.
Mike, pictured left, said: “Growing up in Bristol, my first job was delivering the Evening Post and I feel very lucky to have realised my ambition to edit my hometown newspaper.
“While it’s been a huge challenge to navigate the Post through very difficult economic times and a media landscape fragmented beyond recognition, I feel very fortunate to have had a 15-year backstage pass to the highs and lows of the city I love.
“Under my editorship, I have always strived to put the Post and Bristol Live at the leading edge of news and debate in the city and to celebrate, champion and – sometimes – challenge my fellow Bristolians.
“I have also worked hard to re-connect the Post with Bristol’s BAME communities and to make its content and its workforce more representative of the city it serves.
“Most significantly, I have been privileged to work with hugely talented people. Anything I have achieved will always be down to them. I will miss them very much and wish them every success in the future.”
Alastair was editor of the Daily Post’s Liverpool and North Wales editions from 1995 to 2002, then the North Wales Daily Post when it became a standalone title from 2002 to 2005, and the Liverpool Echo from 2005 onwards.
He will leave in the autumn and work with Reach on specific projects until then.
He said: “I believe the time is right, personally and professionally, to allow others to drive the business forward and face up to the exciting challenges ahead.
“I am extraordinarily proud to have edited the greatest brand in regional journalism and it’s now time for the Echo to enjoy fresh ideas and impetus.
“I am privileged to have had 26 years working alongside amazing people for an amazing company.”