BY December 31, it is likely that 2009 will prove the most cataclysmic in the history of Scottish newspapers, as far as people leaving the industry is concerned, and it has prompted allmediascotland to try to compile a comprehensive roll call of at least the staffers who have moved on this year or about to do so.
Of course, not all – maybe even very few – will have departed because of their post having been made redundant. Some will have done through their own volition, including retirement. And others will have grabbed the chance to pursue other career ambitions, on the back of a voluntary redundancy package.
A fortnight ago, the list began with two names. It is now up to 26, with the addition – yesterday – of Alan Rennie. But it is expected to run into the hundreds.
Reader help towards making it as comprehensive as possible will be much appreciated.
Mike Aitken, former sportswriter, The Scotsman; now “taking a career break until I decide what to do next”.
David Belcher, former TV critic, The Herald; now “attempting to write a radio sitcom set in the mythical Ayrshire village of Dumfoonert (it has a newspaper, oddly enough), while also assembling an internet radio soul show for Radio Six International”.
David Bennett, former sub-editor at The Herald; now running a website design and content management company, fuzzylime.co.uk – with former Herald assistant chief sub-editor, Jill Ledgerwood.
Ian Bruce, former defence correspondent, The Herald; now “enjoying an extended sabbatical”.
Alison Chiesa, former news reporter, The Herald; now: “Blissfully living the simpler life. Home is now a converted horsebox on an organic farm commune in Norway. Amid spectacular scenery, days are filled driving a tractor, milking cows, keeping bees, resuscitating dying ducklings, etc, etc. Will soon move on to Sweden to help build an artists’ retreat centre – and think of new ways to stretch the career break out as long as I can.”
Sandra Colamartino, former editor, Homes & Interiors Scotland; now producing chocolate bars in bespoke, book-like, high-quality wrapping: Chocolate Library.
Bob Dow, former Aberdeen bureau chief, Daily Record; now operating as Bob Dow Media, doing some writing, some media training/PR work and some emergency response work for oil companies in Aberdeen.
Sarah Ferguson, former sub-editor, The Herald; now page editor at The National, in Abu Dhabi.
Philip Gates, former assistant chief sub editor, The Herald; now a part-time freelance sub-editor, part-time house husband, and also retraining in web design and e-commerce.
Bill Henry, former senior photographer, Edinburgh Evening News; now retired, after 19 years with the paper. “Being lazy at the moment but am working on a few projects where I live, in Cumbernauld.”
Julia Horton, former Edinburgh-based reporter, The Herald; now travelling, including New Zealand and South America (where she is currently, learning Spanish).
Michael Howie, former home affairs correspondent, The Scotsman; about to learn Spanish in Madrid, before heading to Central and South America to travel and freelance.
Allan Laing, former reporter/feature writer/columnist/travel editor/assistant news editor, The Herald; now running his own business, All In a Day’s Work, specialising in journalism, TV research and investigation, media training and fast-response PR projects. Plus annual reports, company brochures and speeches. Visit www.allinaworkingday.co.uk
Jill Ledgerwood, former assistant chief sub-editor at The Herald; now running a website design and content management company, fuzzylime.co.uk – with former Herald sub-editor, David Bennett.
David Lee, former senior assistant editor, The Scotsman; now a freelance media consultant.
Hamish Macdonell, former Scottish political editor, The Scotsman; now freelance political commentator.
Bill Mackintosh, former head of news, Sunday Herald; now freelancing, concentrating on writing about whisky for a number of magazines, and helping one whisky group with its internal communications.
Donald MacLeod, former chief photographer, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday; now a news and features freelancer.
Peter John Meiklem, former media and business correspondent, the Sunday Herald; now “writing a whodunit set on the Moroccan tourist trail and getting ready for a year teaching English in Argentina”.
Simon Murphy, former senior photographer, The Herald Magazine; now set up as a freelancer, www.simonmurphyphotographer.com, working as a commercial and editorial photographer,
signed with camerapress agency, and waiting on the imminent arrival of his first child.
Stephen Penman, former deputy editor, Sunday Herald; now head of corporate communications and marketing, North Lanarkshire Council.
Alan Rennie, former editor, Stirling Observer; now, after 26 years as editor and taking retirement, about to begin work, as ‘project delivery officer’, for the local, Going Carbon Neutral team.
Graeme Smith, former north-east reporter, The Herald; now operating as Graeme Smith Media, a freelance writer specialising in the energy industry but also involved in emergency response work, training and PR-related work.
Stuart Sommerville, former sub-editor, The Scotsman; now freelance editor and writer, and “taking orders from” baby Isabella.
Caroline Stewart, former sub editor and gardens writer, The Scotsman; now, thanks to a voluntary redundancy package and “after 12 years hogging the 5pm-1am shift, decided to give others a chance and am now enjoying a new shift starting at 7am looking after baby, Isabella”.
John Young, former group multimedia editor, Herald & Times Group; now running YoungMedia.co.uk, specialising in corporate and PR photography and multimedia.