Reach plc has revealed changes to its editorial structure following the announcement it is to make major redundancies due to the effect of the Covid-19 crisis.
Several new audience and content directors have been announced, including the appointment for the company’s North West of England and North Wales division of Alison Gow, current President of the Society of Editors.
Other audience and content director appointments are:
Helen Dalby in the North-East of England and Yorkshire.
Anna Jeys in the Midlands, Cheshire and Lincolnshire.
David Bartlett in London and the South-East of England.
Jacqui Merrington in the South-West, including Bristol, Gloucestershire and Somerset.
Changes at a national level include Ceri Gould becoming editorial revenue director, which will see her oversee commercial content throughout Reach’s regional portfolio, and Liz Hazelton being appointed audience and content director (engagement).
Liverpool Echo editor Alastair Machray and Bristol Post editor Mike Norton are set to leave the business.
Reach Plc announced on Tuesday it was to shed some 550 jobs with 325 coming from editorial and circulation. The changes will see the merging of the group’s national and regional editorial operations.
The project to create one editorial team across Reach’s nationals, regionals, Scotland and Ireland will be headed up by Mirror editor Alison Phillips, Express editor Gary Jones, Star editor Jon Clark, chief audience officer David Higgerson and head of magazines and supplements Caroline Waterston.
The Mirror, Express and Star are to merge their digital and print operations into “brand teams”.
Photographers across the company will come together under one group head of pictures while the regional shared content unit and the nationals’ advanced features team will merge.
The company is to create the ‘Reach news wire’, to share content across the group and see the creation of several jobs for a team to be led by current Daily Mirror executive editor Michael Greenwood.
At a regional level, Reach’s Live network of local news sites will be relaunched in the autumn, with all sites sharing common style guides and publishing best practices.
This will be overseen by a digital publishing unit to be headed up by Ed Walker as audience and content director (Live Network).
Ed will continue to have editorial responsibility in this role for hyperlocal news service In Your Area.
Reach has also created four marketplace publisher roles to take responsibility for print brands and the market positioning of products in local areas. Marc Reeves will take up the post in the Midlands and Wales, with the new region also including Cheshire and Lincolnshire, and Bill Martin will be marketplace publisher for the South of England.
Neil Hodgkinson will be marketplace publisher for the North East and Yorkshire, as well as local titles in Scotland, while Darren Thwaites will do the same in the North West and North Wales.
They will work side-by-side with geographic audience and content directors, who will be responsible for running local newsrooms and to whom local editors will report.
The changes will see one pictures department team with Michael Rye as group head of pictures with all photographers working together as one network.