The editors of Newsquest's Sunday Herald and Evening Times have stepped down from their positions at the Scottish newspapers.
Richard Walker, editor of the Sunday Herald and The National, and Glasgow Evening Times editor Tony Carlin left their posts today, although Walker will become consultant editor of The National.
The news follows on from Newsquest’s announcement last month that it would make a third round of redundancies this year by cutting 20 jobs at its Herald and Evening Times newspapers in what it says is an attempt to make further savings to compensate for a decline in advertising revenue.
Only yesterday Newsquest reported a 26 per cent rise in profits for its most recent financial year with the Herald generating a turnover of £53.75 million for the 52 weeks to December 28, 2014.
Newsquest regional managing director Tim Blott said he had worked with Carlin and Walker for a number of years and described them as “great ambassadors for the company and strong champions for their titles”. He thanked them for “all they done and wish them every success in the future".
Speaking to The Drum, the National Union of Journalists' Paul Holleran said the redundancies had “sent shockwaves throughout the industry". He added “the decision of longstanding editors, Tony and Richard, to volunteer for redundancy will undoubtedly have an impact on the running of the newspapers.”
First minister Nicola Sturgeon and predecessor Alex Salmond joined Scottish journalists in paying tribute to Carlin and Walker on Twitter, with Walker tweeting his thanks for their support.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) September 22, 2015
Richard Walker has achieved an extraordinary amount. His direct editorship will be sorely missed in Scottish journalism. I wish him well.
— Alex Salmond (@AlexSalmond) September 22, 2015
Hearing Richard Walker, editor of the Sunday Herald @newsundayherald and @scotnational, has sought voluntary redundancy. Big chief to go. — Severin Carrell (@severincarrell) September 22, 2015
Very best wishes to Tony Carlin and Richard Walker. Great editors who have been much-valued colleagues at the SNS — John McLellan (@johnmclellan) September 22, 2015
Thanks to all .. If I have not yet replied personally it's because I've still got a few papers to edit.
— RICHARD WALKER (@richardwalker5) September 22, 2015
Carlin had been editor of the Evening Times since 2009 having been previously served as deputy editor, while Walker had been with the Sunday Herald for 10 years.
Walker made headlines last year when the Sunday Herald became the only newspaper to back Scottish independence. The sucess of the Sunday Herald's stance led to Walker launching the pro-independence daily newspaper The National.