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August 7, 2023updated 08 Aug 2023 9:58am

Wave of senior departures at National World amid redundancy scheme

At least eight staff announced on Twitter they are leaving the company in the past week.

By Bron Maher

More staff are leaving National World this month as a wave of journalists there have accepted voluntary redundancy or resigned from the publisher.

At least eight National World staff have announced on Twitter that they are leaving the company in the past week, and three more are reported to have left or been laid off.

Among them are several senior editorial staff, including the entire data team at the company’s flagship National World news website.

[Read more: National World has cut one in four jobs since JPI takeover in 2021]

Who has left National World?

National World’s half-year report published on Monday 31 July showed the company has shed a quarter of its headcount since it was formed in 2021 to acquire the regional titles published by JPI Media, itself a successor to Johnston Press.

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NUJ members at the company passed a vote of no-confidence in National World chairman David Montgomery earlier in July after the business simultaneously sought to cut a net of 13 staff while delivering its first shareholder dividend. Toward the end of the month the NUJ said “more than 25” staff had left in the latest round of cuts, either via voluntary or compulsory redundancy.

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In June National World, politics editor Tom Hourigan left after just a few weeks into the job citing restructuring and change in editorial direction as reasons behind his departure.

Press Gazette has counted eleven more departures in the past week.

The entire data team – comprising group data and investigations editor Claire Wilde, data reporter Aimee Stanton and data and investigations editor Harriet Clugstone – posted to Twitter that they were leaving.

At least three other journalists at NationalWorld.com said publicly they were leaving: senior politics and investigations reporter Ethan Shone, deputy SEO editor Rhona Shennan and motoring editor Matt Allan, who wrote this week that taking voluntary redundancy hadn’t been “an easy decision, but I feel it’s time for a change”.

At the regional titles, Manchester World senior reporter Andrew Nowell has left to take up a position as a press office for the Nature Friendly Farming Network. Michael Broomhead, a senior digital journalist who is the only staff reporter listed on the Derby World website, announced his departure on Friday.

Broomhead told Hold The Front Page: “I was very proud and excited to launch Derby World. I wanted to do a lot more with this new title and I wanted to see it grow further. But I felt the working situation I found myself in was simply unsustainable. I put myself first and tendered my resignation…

“As time goes on, I fear we will only see even more cost-cutting, more axing of staff and more gutting of titles. As a result, even more people will turn away from us. Revenues will decline even further. And then what? Where are we heading?”

Separately, on Tuesday Edinburgh Evening News sports editor Phil Johnson was reportedly made redundant. At the Rotherham Advertiser, which National World acquired in May, Hold The Front Page reported on Wednesday that chief photographer David Poucher and sub-editor Bob Evans had respectively been made redundant and taken voluntary redundancy.

This week National World launched a new television channel on Freeview, Shots!, which is being staffed out of existing resources.

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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  • CEO
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  • CFO
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  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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