In these extraordinary times, I suppose we should expect the unthinkable: that within a few weeks we will have a daily regional newspaper without its own dedicated editor.
That will be the situation in York, where Press editor Kevin Booth, weekly editor Chris Buxton and managing director Steve Hughes have been made redundant and must now enter into the demeaning process of applying for the one post that will remain – that of managing editor.
I presume that this role will entail significant commercial responsibility beyond merely balancing the editorial budget, i.e. slashing costs and shedding jobs. That will destroy at a stroke any notion of independence or impartiality on the part of the man in charge of editorial content and that, my friends, is an utter disgrace.
Of all the cuts imposed on their loyal, hard-working staff by Newsquest bosses, this is one of the cruellest. What makes it worse is that I understand that the York centre made a profit in the millions of pounds last year, so this betrayal of a ‘proper’ newspaper with 120 years of tradition behind it hardly seems a desperate act.
Newsquest, and their Gannett owners, should be deeply ashamed.