Barrow Evening Mail editor in surprise exit

Editor Sara Hadwin left the Barrow Evening Mail last Friday after briefly addressing her staff the day before.

No reason for her departure was given, either at the staff briefing or in the newspaper’s story explaining that she was to go.

But Hadwin, who had been at the Evening Mail for four years, told Press Gazette she had decided to take a sabbatical of a couple of months before choosing her next job. She said she definitely wanted to return to newspapers next year.

Managing director of the Cumbrian Newspapers’ Furness operation, Tony Raymond, said: "She basically wants to go and try one or two new things. We have been talking about it for a little time.

"She has done some very valuable work while she was with us."

Telling readers of her departure, Hadwin said she had enjoyed her years as editor enormously and was proud to have edited the paper.

There has been an improved performance at the Evening Mail during her years there, Hadwin said, with sales increases over five successive ABC periods.

"I’m giving myself a sabbatical. I can take a break – I’m single with no ties and I thought the time was right, before I move on to the next challenge, to recharge my batteries.

"It will be a benefit for the next paper I take on. I have never been an entirely orthodox career person and this will do me good. Then, whatever comes next I can tackle in my usual 100 per cent way."

Hadwin was editor-publisher of a Portsmouth and Sunderland weekly newspaper in Petersfield for seven years before taking the Evening Mail job and previously helped launch the Hull and Beverley Independent, a paid-for weekly. She has also edited magazines.

Relations between Hadwin and the editorial staff at the Evening Mail have had a bumpy ride. The NUJ chapel has made complaints to the management about Hadwin’s behaviour towards staff.

Raymond said: "I am not going to comment about those historic issues." Hadwin laughed off the idea that the complaints might be behind her decision to go. "Chapel complaints are par for the course," she said.

While the newspaper seeks a new editor, deputy editor Bill Myers will take the chair.

By Jean Morgan

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