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Reporter leaves Hull Daily Mail after 40 years as Reach shuts regional office

The Hull Daily Mail is set to close its office in the town of Beverley, some ten miles outside Hull, with a long-serving reporter to step down.

Readers were told about the office closure last week in a Facebook group run by Hull Live, the website of the Mail.

Journalist Trudi Davidson told the Brilliant Beverley group that she would be leaving the Hull Daily Mail after 40 years reporting from the area.

The move comes almost two years after Hull Daily Mail publisher Reach, formerly Trinity Mirror, closed the Beverley Advertiser.

On the paper’s closure, Reach said the town would continue to be served by the East Riding edition of the Mail.

A Reach spokesperson said in a 21 May statement: “The Hull Daily Mail will close its Beverley Office within the next three months, however there will be no redundancies as a result and no editions will be lost.

“Our journalists and commercial teams will retain their base in Hull.”

But reporter Trudi Davidson contested the statement, saying she had taken voluntary redundancy when told of the office closure.

In a statement to Press Gazette, she said: “The statement attributed to a Reach spokesperson stating there will be no redundancies as a result of the closure of the Hull Daily Mail’s Beverley office is incorrect.

“I am leaving the business by way of voluntary redundancy, with an official leave date of 31 May.

“I had been offered relocation to Hull but did not want to accept this after 40 years based in Beverley, first for the Beverley Guardian (1979-85) and then for the Hull Daily Mail from 1985.”

Davidson added that the closure of the office was a “very sad day for the town”, saying that she was told the decision to shutter the newsroom was “a commercial decision and not a local decision”.

In an updated statement on 22 May, a Reach spokesperson said: “The Hull Daily Mail will close its Beverley Office within the next three months, however there will be no compulsory redundancies as a result and no editions will be lost.

“Our journalists and commercial teams will retain their base in Hull.”

Reach also confirmed that one journalist based in the Beverley office had chosen voluntary redundancy instead of relocating to the Hull office.

Hull Daily Mail reader Alex Slingsby said it was a “shame” the office is closing, adding: “Beverley and Hull and completely different places in terms of demographics and economy.

“I would think it would be very difficult to get a sense of the town when reporting from somewhere completely different. You might as well just report from London if you are going to do that.”

But he added that if the office closure was a result of financial difficulties then “that cannot be helped”.

The Hull Daily Mail had a circulation of 20,212 between July and December last year, according to the latest ABC figures.

The closure of the daily paper’s office in Beverley is the latest in a series of regional newsroom cut backs.

JPI Media revealed in March that it would close eight newsrooms and move staff in 19 other leasehold offices to shared working spaces.

Archant also told staff earlier this year that it plans to close five newsrooms and expects reporters to work remotely from home or on patch.

Newsquest, another of the regional publishing giants, closed the office of a Scottish weekly in the town of Peebles last month.

Comments

1 thought on “Reporter leaves Hull Daily Mail after 40 years as Reach shuts regional office”

  1. Very sad to see the continuing decline of independent local news media. It really is time that at least 80% of the BBC Tax were used subsidise to independent news providers under private ownership, the press in particular.

    One way might be via a positive VAT rate on qualifying income for news media. This would prove demand and keep the positive drive of competition operating. There might need to be some level of levelling to encourage start-ups/discourage mega-corps creaming the system, but this should be at the direct will of the electorate and NOT at the behest of politicians nor their crony establishment friends.

    Thanks and best wishes to Trudi, of course.

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