THE Scotsman today reports its ‘placing on leave’ of its editor-in-chief, John McLellan, as his role has been earmarked for the axe.
Page seven of the paper reports yesterday’s announcement to place on leave three senior employees at publishers, Johnston Press: McLellan, plus Angus Morrison (managing director of local newspapers, Angus County Press) and Keith McIntyre (divisional newspaper sales director).
McLellan’s responsibilities also included Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News and yesterday’s development was roundly condemned by National Union of Journalists’ chapel covering all three titles.
In a statement, the chapel said: “Following an emergency chapel meeting, the joint chapel of The Scotsman Publications would like to register – in the strongest possible terms – our anger and disbelief at the appalling manner in which our editor-in-chief has been treated by the management of Johnston Press.
“John McLellan is an internationally-respected journalist and editor who is held in the highest esteem by his staff – if not by his bosses.
“He has given tirelessly to this company over the years in the belief that, whatever strictures may be placed upon us, we should always produce the best possible product for our readers – a belief he has instilled in each and every member of his staff.
“To see that commitment sacrificed in the name of cost cutting is at once contemptible and demoralising to the staff that John leaves behind. It shows management’s utter disregard for the loyalty and dedication that their staff show every day in their efforts to produce quality newspapers and magazines, and sends out a deeply unpleasant message: no matter your experience or your commitment, everything is rated by cost.
“John has conducted himself with great dignity today – something Johnston Press management would do well to learn from.”
The remainder of today’s press decline to report the news.