Staff unrest as Cambridge Evening News editor leaves

The former editor of the Cambridge Evening News who left the paper abruptly on Friday has said he left the paper because it no longer held a challenge for him.

Murray Morse told Press Gazette that the decision to leave after three and half years was mutual between him and Evening News owners Illife News & Media and but would not be drawn on staff fears that an editorial executive was to be brought in above the editor.

‘I just felt I had done everything I could at the paper. I won lots of awards and I felt the challenge of the paper had gone out of it. I wanted to move on.

‘They are a very, very good team, one of the best I’ve ever worked with and I did have a very good working rapport with them. It was a bit of a bombshell for everybody that I was going, but things move on.”

He said the swift decision was taken ‘to have a clean break rather than drag things out”.

Around 70 Evening News staff attended a meeting yesterday to discuss the departure of the editor. They have passed a ‘vote of no confidence’in the paper’s management. The motion states that staff were “shocked, unsettled and uncertain about the future”.

The motion praised Morse as ‘an excellent editor’and called on the paper’s management to make its position clear. It said: ‘Why does the company feel it necessary to introduce a further tier of editorial management in this way? Surely the extra cost of the additional post will put unwarranted pressure on the budget, which we are repeatedly told is already stretched?’

Morse has enjoyed a long career in regional press and TV, having worked at the Southern Daily Echo, Daily Record and The Sun. He said he had no future career plans currently but hoped to return to newspapers.

He is credited with launching the Evening News’s Sunrise morning editions and winning a string of national and regional awards for the Cambridge Evening News

Morse declined to comment on the newsroom motion. A statement from Illife is expected later today.

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