Sports editor among local paper cuts

A sports editor with more than 40 years’ experience on his local paper is one of 16 redundancies as part of a Trinity Mirror “restructuring” on its Surrey, London and Bucks titles which will see two offices shut and a switch to centralised production.

John Whitbread, 61, joined the Surrey Herald in 1966 and has covered seven Ryder Cups as well as followed local non-league football clubs Walton & Hersham and Woking all the way to Wembley.

“Through the golf I’ve reported on some great moments,” he told Hold the Front-Page.

“I’ve interviewed Tiger Woods and Seve Ballesteros and I’m good friends with Bernard Gallacher. I helped his daughter Kirsty get her first job at Sky.

“I’m going to be looking for freelance opportunities. I know it’s a very difficult time with lots of journalists being put out of work but I’ve made some reasonable contacts in golf and football.

“I can also do athletics and tennis as well as cinema and theatre reviews. Hopefully, I will be busy.

“After 43 years you feel like you’re institutionalised but I’m excited and a bit scared.”

More on sports desk job cuts:

Lovejoy job “at risk” at Sunday Times

Redundancy round ‘complete’ at Herald group

Express to cut more than 70 jobs

Brighton’s weekly sports paper to close

NUJ chapel protest at Independent‘s sports cuts

Mossop and Phillip leave Telegraph

Click here for a listing of local newspaper closures in 2008

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