Five-year plan pays Five-year plan pays

Morse: top job at Cambridge Evening News

After leaving the Scottish Daily Record, Murray Morse set himself a five-year target to become editor of a regional daily. This week he made it, getting the top job at the Cambridge Evening News.

He replaces Colin Grant, who stays within Iliffe News & Media as editor-in-chief of the weekly Herts & Essex Newspapers titles.

According to the company, Morse was selected from “an extremely strong field of candidates which included a number of existing evening newspaper editors”.

Morse began his career at 18 on his then local paper, the Worthing Gazette. After completing his NCTJ training four years later, he moved to the Southern Daily Echo, in Southampton, where he stayed for seven years and progressed to deputy news editor.

Morse then moved into television, working as deputy news editor for Coast to Coast, the evening news programme of TVS (now Meridian).

In 1992 he returned to newspapers as news editor of the Edinburgh Evening News, then, after a spell as number three on the Sun newsdesk under Kelvin MacKenzie, he went to the Belfast Telegraph as news editor. Morse then went back to Scotland as news editor of the Daily Record and also worked as news editor of the Scottish News of the World before returning to the regional press in 1998.

He was assistant editor of the South Wales Argus and then joined the Evening Chronicle, Newcastle, in January 2001 as deputy editor.

Morse joins the Cambridge Evening News at at time when, alongside many regional dailies, it struggles to hold on to readers. In the past five years circulation has dropped from 41,544 to 34,347.

He said: “I worked at the South Wales Argus under Gerry Keighley and in the past three or four years he’s been dramatically successful in putting on sales .

“The secret is very simple: you break good stories, you do those stories very well and then make sure you’ve got plenty of newspapers in the areas where you think those stories are going to sell.”

He said: “It’s been a long-held ambition to edit a good regional newspaper of my own. I set myself a five-year plan to become editor of a regional newspaper and I’ve just about done it.”

Morse, who is married with two young children, starts his new job on 15 November.

By Dominic Ponsford

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