Tuesday, 28 April 2015
Good luck to Malcolm, one of the good guys
It comes as no surprise to me that Malcolm Warne, the editor of the Darlington & Stockton Times, is on his way. There aren’t many weekly newspapers operating out of daily houses that still have their own editors these days. Indeed it is great credit to Malcolm that he has lasted as long as he did. For years Newsquest has operated a policy of giving its daily editors responsibility for its weekly titles. Mike Glover’s editorship at the Westmorland Gazette was taken over by Lancashire Telegraph editor Kevin Young back in 2008. In 2011 Derek Holmes, editor of Oxfordshire’s weekly papers, was made redundant and his responsibilities handed to Oxford Mail editor Simon O’Neill. A quick glance across the group - and indeed the industry - shows a similar pattern. Both Mike and Derek were excellent editors, as is Malcolm, but that is no longer enough. So he will have seen the writing on the wall. Malcolm was my assistant editor on The Northern Echo back in 1992 when he was headhunted for the D&S job. It was a job that required a certain type of person - someone with stature in the community, who would take a sure-footed and intelligent approach and had great journalistic skills and integrity. I had no doubt he was perfect for the job. During his tenure he oversaw a redesign that put news on to the front page (the paper had previously carried only adverts on page 1), a move to compact and the recruitment of an army of highly talented correspondents. He also raised the profile of the paper, steadied its circulation and took responsibility for the group’s other weeklies. His role will now be taken over by Echo editor Peter Barron and his deputy Chris Lloyd. Malcolm is an excellent editor who lived and breathed the D&S for 23 years. It was inevitable that his job would eventually be surplus to requirements but that does not make it any less sad. With his contacts, talent and appetite for hard work, he will no doubt find a good life after the editor’s chair. He is one of the good guys, I wish him well.
Read The Northern Echo report here.