Two South West dailies to merge

Northcliffe newspapers the Western Daily Press and the Western Morning News are to merge their subbing operations and be headed by a single editor in chief.

The Bristol-based Western Daily Press and the Plymouth-based Western Morning News are to combine their production and content management operations, with production of the Morning News to move to Bristol. Both titles will retain a separate editorial team and editorial content but will undergo a similar redesign.

Western Morning News editor Alan Qualtrough will become editor in chief of the two titles, whilst Western Daily Press editor Andy Wright has decided to retire.

Wright has worked in the regional press for 40 years, including 25 years at the Shropshire Star and seven years at the Derby Evening Telegraph. He has been editor of the Daily Press since 2005.

Northcliffe also propose to create a centralised subbing hub in Plymouth which will oversee The Herald (Plymouth), the Herald Express (Torquay), and the Express and Echo (Exeter).

The changes are part of Northcliffe’s restructuring of its South West division. About 20 subbing posts at Torquay and Exeter and 11 editorial jobs in Bristol are at risk.

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