Campey: Post editorship marred by staff upset
Rachael Campey has resigned from the Yorkshire Post after 18 months as editor. After mounting speculation about her future, management made an announcement to staff on Wednesday.
One long-term staffer told Press Gazette that reaction to Campey’s departure would be “fairly dry-eyed” among the old guard on the paper.
But others felt that she was not given long enough to bring in her changes.
Campey brought in half a dozen senior editorial staff which caused waves among existing journalists who believed they had been sidelined.
She was the subject of a ‘no-confidence’ vote by staff on the flagship Johnston Press-owned paper in February, when journalists were unhappy at the treatment of women’s editor Jill Armstrong, who had been with the paper for 25 years. She had been told by Campey that her post was being scrapped and she could apply for the vacant position of features editor.
The Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post NUJ chapel passed a motion which stated: “The Yorkshire Post chapel has no confidence in the Yorkshire Post editor and authorises the chapel committee to make all necessary preparations for the possibility of a strike.”
The row was resolved in March after Armstrong was given a new role.
When she took over Campey was understood to have been given a war chest to invest in a ‘dream team’ of new appointments One insider said: “We were told that she had been allowed a substantial budget to bring about the changes she wanted, but it would have to be justified and clawed back.”
New budgets were thought to be under discussion by management this week.
A Post journalist said: “The paper has altered radically but in the end too much had changed without the sales going up.”
The Yorkshire Post is one of the most prestigious regional newspapers. It won two honours in the Press Gazette Regional Press Awards in July.
Latest sales figures for the Yorkshire Post are 61,691 down 4.5 per cent year on year.
Johnston Press divisional managing editor Chris Green said: “Rachael has made a valuable contribution to both the Yorkshire Post and the company. I would like to place on record my appreciation for the work she has done.”
Campey said: ” I am proud of what the paper has achieved during my editorship – including an improving sales performance and industry awards. I would like to thank the journalists and staff who have worked to help me take the paper forward.”
Deputy editor Duncan Hamilton has become acting editor.
By Jon Slattery and Dominic Ponsford