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TUESDAY 27  FEBRUARY 2024

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Mirror editor Phillips quits as Reach slashes jobs and budgets

By RICHARD DISMORE

 

Mirror Editor Alison Phillips is to leave the company at the end of the month.

 

The Daily Drone understands Phillips, 53, has accepted voluntary redundancy terms.

 

Like other Reach editors, she has come under pressure to cut staff and budgets while boosting traffic to websites.

 

She is known to care passionately about the Mirror and has a reputation for fighting for her staff. This has been tested during a turbulent period of redundancies and restructuring at Reach.

 

Phillips has edited the Daily Mirror since 2018, when she took over from Peter Willis, and she was the paper’s first woman editor since 1903. She joined the company in 1998 as a writer on the Sunday People magazine.

 

In 2016 she launched a new paper, the New Day, for Trinity Mirror group but it closed after two months. Phillips won the Columnist of the Year award in 2018 for her Wednesday column in the Mirror, in which she lamented Brexit and campaigned for equal pay for women.

 

Phillips grew up in Essex and began her career with the weekly Harlow Star before joining the Brighton Evening Argus. She also worked for Connors news agency in Brighton.

 

Her departure is the latest milestone in the decline of Reach, which also owns the Express and Star titles. The company announced the sacking of 450 employees, including 300 journalists, in the lead-up to Christmas.

 

Those redundancies are still going through the consultation process and were meant to reduce costs by up to six per cent.

 

The strategy of Mullen and the Reach board is becoming increasingly baffling to observers of the news business. Mullen seems intent on running down the newspapers to concentrate on the website.

 

Yet the papers are still believed to be the group’s biggest source of income. The website is widely regarded as difficult to read between the pop-up ads, frequently inaccurate and littered with stories lifted from other publications.

 

The focus on the website comes as tech giants are turning away from news, which they are reluctant to pay for. Their policy of lifting it from established publications has faced legal challenges in America and Europe.



14 January 2024