Paisley Daily Express editor’s role earmarked for axing

THE editor’s post at the Paisley Daily Express newspaper has been earmarked for axing.

Anne Dalrymple has been editor for five years and been with the paper – which is owned by Scottish & Universal Newspapers, part of the Trinity Mirror group – for 29 years, and her position is now subject to a 30-day consultation process.

A statement issued by Trinity Mirror reads: “As part of an ongoing review of the business, S&UN has announced a number of proposed changes to the editorial management structure at the Paisley Daily Express. The Paisley Daily Express, together with its associated free publication, the Renfrewshire World, will become part of the Ayrshire/West region of S&UN.

“Consequently, the [region-wide] group editor [Alan Woodison] will now assume responsibility for these titles and, in order to support senior editorial staff and oversee the change process, will be based at the Paisley office with immediate effect.

“As a result of these changes it is proposed that the role of editor at the Paisley Daily Express will be made redundant and the company has entered into a period of consultation with the member of staff affected.”

The National Union of Journalists’ chapel at the Paisley Daily Express has issued a strongly-worded motion about the move, essentially repeated by office-bearers at the S&UN group-wide chapel.

The PDE chapel motion reads: “The Paisley Daily Express Chapel unanimously opposes the management’s decision to make the permanent, full-time editor’s position redundant as of January 13, 2011. As the only daily title within S&UN, the Paisley Daily Express needs a full-time editor maintain the standards and integrity of the publication. The chapel urges management to reinstate the post immediately.

“The chapel deplores management’s assertion that the decision has been made for reasons of cost, and not for any valid journalistic reasons. The chapel further deplores management reneging on an agreement given last year that there would be better consultation ahead of any proposed redundancy. The chapel awaits an early response to this statement from management before deciding on any further action. The S&UN group chapel will be notified of this response.”

Say the office-bearers of the NUJ chapel for the S&UN group: “The S&UN NUJ group chapel is appalled at the loss of the editor’s position at the Paisley Daily Express, and fully endorse the memo issued by the Paisley NUJ chapel this morning.

“A daily paper needs the organisation and drive of a committed editor to maintain standards. With the best will in the world, there is no way any group editor, with all his other commitments and responsibilities across the whole spectrum of the company, can commit himself to the requirements of a daily paper and its output.

“In addition, this is the third editorial job to be lost in this office in the past two years, and none have been replaced, thereby piling an unrealistic burden on the shoulders of the editorial staff there.

“We are appalled that ANY editorial job, far less such a senior position, should be scrapped on the grounds of cost, without consideration of the journalistic requirements, and urge that the position be re-instated immediately.

“In addition, there was no consultation with the post-holder, never mind the union, before creating this redundancy, despite the assurances to the contrary given by managing director, Bill Steven, last year, which allowed the chapel to close a previous grievance procedure on this very point of lack of consultation.

“The office-bearers of the group chapel urge S&UN management to consider carefully the points raised above, and to be well aware that there is, once again, a strong feeling of injustice in the wake of this unwarranted decision.”

Dalrymple told “The matter of my proposed redundancy and the manner in which it was carried out is with the NUJ and an employment law solicitor. I have been advised not to say anything more at the present time.”

The last audited sales figure for the Paisley Daily Express was around 8,000.