Press Gazette is backing a campaign calling for Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield to keep redundancy-threatened Jon Stokoe as editor of the Whitby Gazette.
Stokoe is facing the axe despite being one of the most successful regional newspaper editors in the country – ABC figures show his paper was the fifth best-performing fully paid-for local weekly newspaper in the UK with print sales up 2.1 per cent to 9,540.
This was despite the fact its cover price increased from 55p to 90p in that period.
Stokoe is understood to be on 'gardening leave' and the Whitby paper is being run by Scarborough News editor Ed Asquith. Johnston Press is also proposing to close the Whitby Gazette's offices and move to smaller premises.
Johnston Press is currently consulting on proposals to make the job of Whitby Gazette editor redundant.
Following yesterday’s news there was an outpouring of support for Stokoe from local residents and fellow journalists using the #saveourstokoe Twitter hashtag.
Here are a few of the messages of support:
— Andrew Newton (@andynewts) March 7, 2013
#saveourstokoe all the Sisters are behind you. Jon has helped us raise so much money for charity! Xxxx retweet!!
— Sisters Of Real (@SistersOfReal) March 7, 2013
— Silverback Chaps (@silverbackdan) March 7, 2013
— Adrian Braddy (@DalesmanEditor) March 6, 2013
— Marie Lozman (@MarieLevy) March 6, 2013
And a user named @shaun199 has been distributing this image:
Press Gazette today launched an online petition urging Johnston Press to retain the services of someone who is clearly an outstanding editor: