Surprise exit for editors of Birmingham Post and Mail

The editors of both the Birmingham Post and Birmingham Mail will leave their respective newspapers as part of a massive shake-up that will see the Post go weekly and 82 staff made redundant.

Trinity Mirror confirmed this afternoon that Steve Dyson, editor of the Birmingham Mail and Sunday Mercury, and Birmingham Post editor Marc Reeves will both leave the company later in the year after helping implement a series of radical changes to the publisher’s operation in the Midlands.

Coventry Telegraph editor Dave Brookes will be the new editor of the Birmingham Mail and editor-in-chief of all Birmingham titles. A new Post editor will be appointed later this year.

Darren Parkin, editor-in-chief of Trinity Mirror’s Coventry weeklies series, will replace Brookes as editor of the Telegraph.

Reeves said: “It was my lifelong ambition to edit the Birmingham Post, my home town newspaper, and I’ve had nearly four years doing exactly that. I feel truly honoured to have been editor when the Post celebrated its 150th anniversary, and to have played a part in the development of its online services and forays into social media.

“My focus now is shaping the Post for the changes and challenges ahead and handing over the reins to my successor before I leave at the end of the year.”

Dyson said: “It has been a privilege working on these fine newspapers. They have provided me with great experiences, from my days as a reporter to my last seven years as an editor. I’ve been really lucky and will never forget my 17 years with the company.

“It has been quite a wrench to come to the decision to move on, but I feel it is the right time to seek new challenges elsewhere. I leave wishing everyone at the company the very best for the future.”

The changes to Trinity Mirror’s publications in Birmingham will see the Post cease daily publication to become an online multimedia brand covering business news and analysis with a weekly print edition. Trinity Mirror will launch a new website for the title.

The Mail, which is currently an evening newspaper, will move to overnight production early next year – meaning it will no longer cover on-the-day breaking news.

The changes were initially proposed by Trinity Mirror as it launched a consultation into the future operation of its Midlands division in August to address a forecast £6million loss in 2010 for the business.

The publisher confirmed today that approximately 40 editorial roles are at risk of redundancy across its Midlands division as it seeks greater integration between its titles.

The publisher has proposed introducing a new template process that will see reporters write directly into pre-determined story page layouts. This will result in most production roles at Fort Dunlop, which serves the Mail, Post, Sunday Mercury and Coventry Telegraph, being placed at risk of redundancy.

There will also be a reduction in the number of photographers in the Midlands and a small reduction of staff on the Trinity Mirror Midlands weekly titles.

The knock-on effect of these changes to other parts of the business will result in the anticipated redundancy of a further 42 staff.

These latest job losses come after more than 90 staff left when Trinity closed nine weekly papers in the region in July and follows the loss of 70 further jobs after a large-scale shake-up of newsrooms in Birmingham and Coventry last year.

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