Editor role could be cut at investigative website Exaro News under plans to halve editorial budget - Press Gazette

Editor role could be cut at investigative website Exaro News under plans to halve editorial budget

Investigative news website Exaro News is considering operating without an editor under plans to halve its editorial budget.

The team, famously at the centre of recent attempts to uncover stories about an alleged VIP paedophile ring in the heart of Westminster, has already been moved from its Fleet Street office to Floral Street in Covent Garden to be closer to owners New Sparta Group as part of the cuts.

Editor-in-Chief Mark Watts has confirmed that his role is under threat and that others on the team could also face redundancy. Exaro employs the equivalent of five full-time investigative reporters through part-time staff and freelances.

After first taking to Twitter to share news of the cuts, thought to be between 45-55 per cent of the editorial budget, Watts told Press Gazette: “It is true that Exaro is facing around a halving of its editorial budget, but how this will be carried out is not yet finalised.

“One element of the plan is to make the position of Editor-in-Chief redundant. The plan is for Exaro to have no editor.

“I have consistently argued the case for our preserving Exaro’s editorial team and its integrity. I cannot say any more about this matter at this stage. But I do want to say that I am grateful to Jerome Booth in particular for the opportunity to have put together and led a team of journalists that has produced so much ground-breaking and important journalism.

“Exaro, with just five full-time equivalent journalists for much of its time, has more effectively held power to account in its near five years than many media outlets can do in five decades.”

The news follows waves of announced cuts at the Telegraph, Vice News and a number of Trinity Mirror titles across the country, including the Leicester Mercury and Croydon Advertiser.

Exaro has been contacted for comment.



Press Gazette's must-read weekly newsletter featuring interviews, data, insight and investigations.