Harrow editor and deputy quit ahead of pool scheme

Gransby: award-winning editor

Aaron Gransby, award-winning editor of the Harrow Observer, and his deputy Tom Black are quitting Trinity Mirror Southern in September without jobs to go to as the company sets up a central subbing pool for its West London and Bucks newspapers.

And John Moore, editor of the Ealing Gazette for 10 years and 36 years with the company under several owners, has been turned down for a job in the new pool. He is effectively redundant from 6 September.

Ethel Brew, deputy editor of the Buckinghamshire Advertiser and Bucks Examiner, has already left, following former editor Roger Hawes, who lost his job in May.

There will no jobs for editors, deputy editors, chief subs, production editors or sub-editors on their own papers. Each office will have a content editor on a reduced editor’s salary, with responsibility for content, selection of news, photographs, and overseeing the news operation .

Gransby has edited the Enfield Gazette and Enfield Advertiser and the Kilburn Times.

In his present job for two years, he said: "I am sad and disappointed that my team and I will not be given the chance to finish what we have started at Harrow but I am exceptionally proud of what we have achieved."

Other Ealing Gazette staffers who have applied for pool jobs have also been turned down.

The unit will be run with just one editor-in-chief, Adrian Seal at Uxbridge (Press Gazette, 31 May).

As part of parent company Trinity Mirror’s Biggest to Best policy, the titles involved – the Bucks Advertiser,  Bucks Examiner, Uxbridge Gazette, Harrow Observer, Ealing Gazette and their sister frees – have been subject to an extensive review.

They were all owned by Southnews before Trinity Mirror bought them two years ago.

TMS plans to lose 10 editorial posts in the division. Regular freelances will be axed when the pool, with a production editor, chief sub and eight subs, is up and running.

Part of the strategy is to allow the company’s reporters more time for "reader-focus-to-content".  "That’s community news to most other people.  That’s what we do anyway," said one of the journalists. "It is meant to encourage reporters to adopt a ‘right-first-time’ policy which means the copy they supply doesn’t raise any queries."

Sub-editors on the titles say they enjoy working for their papers and that they know the area they cover intimately. Under central production, they will be subbing titles outside those areas.

"It is just a cost-cutting operation. It never works," said one.  Another senior journalist railed: "There are a lot of good people here who are going to be thrown on the scrapheap." Journalists’ fears that another central subbing pool is to be created for North London papers have been denied by the company.

A TMS spokesman said there were no plans for centralised subbing for the Enfield and Basildon papers.

 

By Jean Morgan

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