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Sister dailies’ editor revealed as latest high-profile Reach cuts casualty

Jamie Macaskill 2023An editor responsible for two regional dailies has been revealed as the latest senior departure following Reach plc’s cuts announcement.

Jamie Macaskill has announced his departure from the Hull Daily Mail and Grimsby Telegraph, becoming the seventh leading editorial figure to say farewell to the publisher this week.

It comes after Reach confirmed plans on Tuesday to make 192 editorial roles redundant, with 426 posts in total being put at risk.

Jamie has edited the Mail and Telegraph, as well as the Scunthorpe Telegraph and their associated sister websites, since 2020 and has more than 30 years of experience in the industry.

In a letter to staff at his titles, he revealed he will leave his role in May.

Jamie, pictured, wrote: “In the 12 years since I joined the Hull Daily Mail I have had the privilege to work with some outstanding journalists and the great honour to lead our titles in Hull and Grimsby.

“I was often told Hull and Grimsby punched above their weight in the regional press. I disagree. We were always a regional heavyweight, doing what we do best; reporting in our patches, supporting our readers and campaigning for our communities.

“I’ve worked through a huge transformation in the way we produce and report news, largely for the best, but I’m particularly proud that Hull and Grimsby remain among the leading centres in Reach for loyal readers. We know our audience, care about our readership, and it shows.

“But it’s now the right time for me to move onto fresh challenges and new opportunities. A special thanks to all those who have supported me and been part of the team. You make journalism a profession to be proud of and such a rewarding career.”

Jamie began his career on the Aberdeen Evening Express in 1990 before moving to Newcastle, where he was a reporter on The Journal from 19983 to 1995.

He then spent a decade with Glasgow’s Daily Record as a reporter, then deputy editor and later news editor, prior to becoming The Mail on Sunday’s bureau chief in the city.

Jamie moved to Hull in 2010, spending three years as assistant editor and then moving to the deputy editorship.

From 2017 to 2020 he was digital editor, based in Grimsby, before taking the editor role at both titles following a restructure.

Reach has placed 426 journalism roles at risk in total, with 150 of the redundancies to take place across its Live network of regional news titles, In Your Area hyperlocal network and central and customer teams.

Other high-profile departures since the plan was announced include 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.

Tuesday’s announcement has prompted criticism of Reach’s expansionist strategy in recent years, which has seen it launch online news titles covering every county of England and Wales, and the impact this has had on the wider industry

Posting on Twitter yesterday, Iliffe Media editorial director Ian Carter wrote: “Nothing but sympathy for Reach journalists going through another round of redundancies. There are a lot of very talented people among the latest departures.

“It’s an uncomfortable truth, though, that by aggressively pursuing free access websites in every part of the UK – Rutland Live, anyone? – it inhibited other publishers’ ability to experiment with paid content models. Now we all face those same headwinds.”

Speaking to HTFP, Ian added: “There are a lot of excellent past and present journalists at Reach, and it was clear at last week’s Regional Press Awards just how much vital local reporting is taking place across all publishers.

“Every company has to navigate its way through a challenging landscape in the way it feels gives it the best chance of a sustainable future.

“As I said in my tweet, the presence of a free-to-access Reach website in every county is something we’ve had to factor into our strategic thinking, in the same way we have to factor in the presence of the BBC.”

HTFP has approached Reach for a response to Ian’s comments.