STAFF at the Cambridge Evening News have passed a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the management, following the departure of editor, Murray Morse.
They claim bosses at the paper wanted to appoint a group editor above him.
Morse, a former news editor of the Daily Record and Edinburgh Evening News, and newsdesk executive at the Press and Journal, abruptly left his editor’s post last Friday.
Around 70 “dismayed and disappointed” journalists decided to make their voices heard after Morse left, following the decision, and posted a number of messages, mostly of support, on media website, HoldTheFrontPage.
In their motion, the staff say that Morse would have been responsible to the new group editor for editorial decisions, which they claim “clearly left him feeling his position as editor was no longer tenable”.
It said: “His departure has left people feeling shocked, unsettled and uncertain about the future. We would ask that the company responds to our concerns by releasing a full and frank statement about the rationale behind the senior editorial changes that are underway.”
The staff meeting also conveyed that those attending had no confidence in the management of Cambridge Newspapers for the way the issue had been handled.
A statement released after the meeting said: “We wish to go on record as saying that Murray was regarded by us as an excellent editor, as well as a popular and supportive colleague.
“Why does the company feel it necessary to introduce a further tier of editorial management in this way? Surely the extra cost of the additional post will put unwarranted pressure on the budget, which we are repeatedly told is already stretched? The launch of the Sunrise edition, coupled with the staff shortages that have been prevalent in the editorial department recently, have imposed severe additional pressures on everyone working in editorial.
“We have, we believe, coped with that pressure to the best of our abilities, and are proud of the newspapers we are producing. Murray’s leadership has not only played a key role in enabling this to happen but has also inspired a very large number of awards for our publications.”
The management in Cambridge have so far not commented on Morse’s departure.