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News websites to be staffed by one reporter each in cuts plan

Daniel DaviesTwo news websites launched by Reach plc two years ago as part of its plan to cover all of England and Wales are to be left with one reporter each as a result of its present round of cutbacks.

More than 50 jobs were created in April 2021 when Reach announced the creation of a clutch of new websites under its ‘Live’ brand including Dorset Live and Wiltshire Live.

But the publisher announced last week that it is seeking 192 editorial redundancies, with regional titles set to bear the brunt of the cuts.

According to a proposed org chart for the company’s South-West region, which has been seen by HTFP, Dorset and Wiltshire will be left with one reporter each following the restructure.

All seven editorial staff working across the two titles are understood to be among the 426 placed under threat of redundancy as part of the publisher’s cutbacks.

Dorset Live is currently staffed by a team of six including editor Jon Lewis, who also has oversight of Wiltshire Live, while content editor William Bradley is currently the sole dedicated journalist working on the Wiltshire title.

Under the new plan, the two reporters who survive the restructure will report to an executive editor (engagement), who will in turn report to a senior editor for Bristol.

Sports journalist Daniel Davis, who works for Dorset Live as AFC Bournemouth correspondent, has confirmed he is among those affected.

Posting on Twitter, he confirmed his role covering the Premier League football club will “more likely than not” cease to exist.

Daniel, pictured, wrote: “Unfortunately, I discovered this week that I’m one of those at risk of redundancy. More likely than not, my role covering AFCB will no longer exist at some point in the near future. I expect to move on to a new challenge. Obviously, this is far from ideal but I’m staying positive.”

Since the announcement was made, Erin Black, who is Reach’s regional video editor Plymouth, Devon & Cornwall, has also revealed she will be leaving the group.

Erin, pictured, wrote on Twitter on Friday: I’m leaving Plymouth Live at the end of March. In my six years I’ve done some of the most random live streams around and I want to bow out in the same fashion, so if you have anything kind of newsworthy but mostly fun happening in the next two weeks, hit me up.”

Another journalist working for Reach in the South-West told HTFP: “There is widespread anger over this and frankly, we are all fed up and I would be more than happy to strike and also call for [Reach chief executive] Jim Mullen and wider figures to resign.

“This cost saving exercise is not down to the reporters or editors who are helping make this company money via selling newspapers, syndicating stories to nationals or producing videos on social media.

“They do not deserve to be continually stretched and be the ones to lose their jobs when the company has a wobble. Bosses have not shared whether they have taken pay cuts or waved bonuses during this time and their town halls just seemed to be really difficult to listen to.

“The work atmosphere has been awful but people have cracked on. It’s like the Blitz wartime spirit and no clear end to this current situation. I know many people who are working to rule and are instead just using work time to search for new jobs, watch TV or just go for walks instead.”

High-profile departures from Reach since the cuts plan was announced include Hull Daily Mail and Grimsby Telegraph editor Jamie Macaskill, Teesside Gazette editor Ian McNeal, Adam Moss, who edits the Leicester Mercury, Coventry Telegraph and Northants Live, Burton Mail editor Julie Crouch and Nottingham Post content editor Michael Broomhead.

Alison Gow, the company’s interim audience and content director for video and audio, also announced she was leaving the day before the proposals were revealed.

On Friday, National Union of Journalists reps from across Reach passed a motion of no confidence in Jim Mullen and the publisher’s senior management team at a group chapel meeting.

HTFP has approached Reach for further information on the South West restructure plan, details of which can be seen below.

According to the org chart which has been shared with HoldtheFrontPage, the Reach operations in the South West will be restuctured as follows:


The following will report to the senior editor, Bristol:

  • An executive editor for Bristol who will be responsible for looking after two content editors and four reporters, as well as a chief sports writer, football writer and rugby writer.
  • An executive editor for Reach’s group-wide ‘Network Newsroom’ project who will oversee two breaking news content editors, four breaking news reporters and an audience writer.
  • An executive editor (engagement) who will oversee the Dorset reporter and the Wiltshire reporter.
  • One video and photojournalist.


The following will report to the senior editor, Devon:

  • An executive editor (engagement)
  • An executive editor for Devon who will be responsible for a content editor and three reporters.
  • A Network Newsroom executive editor who will oversee two breaking news content editors, two breaking newsroom reporters and an audience writer.


  • A separate editor for Plymouth will look after a content editor, two reporters and a football writer.
  • An editor for Cornwall will oversee a content editor, three reporters and a video and photojournalist.
  • A content editor and two reporters will report to an editor in Gloucestershire.
  • A content editor and two reporters will report to an editor in Somerset.

Journalists in the region employed by Reach newsrooms under the BBC-funded Local Democracy Reporting Service, Meta-funded Community News Project or the group’s new national brand Curiously are not impacted.