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Now it’s rugby league coverage under threat as reporters axed in cuts

Coverage of rugby league in one of the sport’s heartlands is under threat as part of the staff cutbacks that have already resulted in the loss of three football writers.

Despite the city being home for two Super League teams, the Hull Daily Mail and its associated website, Yorkshire Live, looks set to lose both of its dedicated RL reporters.

HTFP has previously revealed that Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Huddersfield Town are to lose their dedicated Yorkshire Live writers as part of publisher Reach plc’s redundancy plans.

Now both the Mail is set to lose its two reporters covering professional RL teams Hull Kingston Rovers and Hull FC.

Dedicated rugby league coverage at heartland title Hull Daily Mail is under threat.

Dedicated rugby league coverage at heartland title Hull Daily Mail is under threat.

Hull KR reporter Joe Appleyard announced his departure from the role on social media platform ‘X’ earlier this month, while also confirming that the Mail will no longer have a dedicated journalist covering the two clubs.

Colleague Dan Tomlinson, who covers Hull FC, has also confirmed that his position is under threat.

Joe’s post read: “Sad to confirm I’m going to be one of the 450 and Rovers’ HDM coverage will be no more after January 15th.

“I’ve absolutely loved being Hull KR reporter for HDM, but unfortunately, I’ve been made redundant ahead of the 2024 season.

“Covering my team at Wembley, reaching the top four and getting 80 minutes away from Old Trafford was an absolute dream to report on. Thanks for all the kind words along the way.

“Sadly, Hull KR and Hull FC won’t have HDM reporters anymore. Two massive clubs that deserve one.”

Dan posted: “I am one of 450 Reach PLC roles at risk of redundancy from Jan 15.

“Sadly, this would mean the end of HDM’s coverage of Hull FC and Hull KR. Obviously, I’m gutted, but for now, it’s business as usual. Thanks for all the messages. I really appreciate it.”

A Reach spokesperson said: “Consultation is still ongoing and we wouldn’t comment further on individual circumstances.”

The news leaves further question marks over the publisher’s sports coverage in Yorkshire, following the scaling back of football coverage in some areas.

Nathan Hemmingham, who covers Premier League side Sheffield United and his colleague Ricky Charlesworth, who reports on Steel City rivals Sheffield Wednesday, both revealed their own departures on the social media platform ‘X’ last week.

Their departures follow that of The Examiner’s Huddersfield Town reporter Steven Chicken who covered his last game for the paper last night, but as reported by HTFP yesterday, he is to continue providing coverage of the club via a subscription-only channel on Substack.

A total of 450 roles across the company will be lost – including 320 editorial posts – following a downturn in digital advertising revenues.

Ian Byrne, the Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, has tabled a parliamentary motion expressing dismay at the cutbacks and called on the company to work with the National Union of Journalists to limit compulsory redundancies.