Staff at The Sentinel, Stoke-on-Trent, have been shocked by the sudden departure of long-serving deputy editor Joanne Goodwin.
She left the paper immediately after a meeting with the paper’s new editor Mike Sassi last week.
Goodwin sent a memo to colleagues shortly after the meeting telling them she was leaving and thanking them for their help and support over the years.
Goodwin started her career on the Staffordshire Newsletter and joined The Sentinel in the late 1970s. She returned to the paper and became deputy to editor Sean Dooley.
One insider said: “It came as a real shock. Joanne was very professional and dogged. She didn’t suffer fools gladly.
She is from North Staffordshire so she lived for The Sentinel and it was a tearstained departure. She was summarily out, no memo from management. It was like a taboo subject.”
Consultants are in place at The Sentinel as part of the Northcliffe’s Aim Higher cost reduction programme ahead of the sale of the company. It is understood that they are also at sister paper the Leek Post & Times.
Northcliffe would not comment.