I’ve lost touch with my old mate Murray Morse in recent years. However, we’ve got more than a few mutual friends who keep me abreast of how he he’s been getting on. (the pics dates from when he granted me the honour of being godfather to his son – a role, which, I have been truly awful in).
It seemed that in Cambridge he’d finally landed the perfect job – an editor’s chair at a forward-thinking evening newspaper. Certainly most of the recent reports I’d heard about his time there were glowing.
Then on Friday the jungle drums started beating with the surprising news that Murray had departed, suddenly and unexpectedly. Which led me to the site dedicated to the UK’s regional newspapers, Hold The Front Page, where there was a report confirming his exit from the paper. Read the full article here.
However, what really caught my eye was the comment posted by one of his former staff, which speaks volumes:
As now a former colleague of Murray Morse. I wish to make public how the majority of the editorial department of the Cambridge Evening News feels. Morale in the office was good, with departments finally getting replacements for positions that had been vacant for months. Then they do this to us! Murray was put into a position where he felt he had no choice, who would be happy to have someone bought in above them…another management role! There was complete shock at the news that Murray was to leave, the staff stood and applauded Mr Morse when he came into the newsroom after we had been told. Some staff were so overcome that they just cried, others were angry, ALL of us were quite simply Gutted. Murray was an Editor that supported his staff and as seen from the Awards we have collected in recent times we gave him our best. He will be sadly missed, As for sales falling, well name us a regional paper that hasn’t shown a sales drop, maybe if our new Sunrise edition was in the shops at Sunrise and not Lunchtimes sales may even improve!!! Murray said a few words before he left, then in a scene I’ve never before witnessed when he walked from the building we all went with him and applauded him all the way to his car. MM will be a hard act to follow, We just wish he hadn’t had to leave!!
Flamin’ norah! You couldn’t get a more heartening kiss off from your staff. Now, I’m not naive enough to think that everyone in the newsroom held the same devotion for Mr Morse – but for even a single staff to feel this strongly is amazing.
And to be applauded out of the building? I can’t say I’ve ever heard anything like it. Clearly Double M had made quite an impression.
I had the good fortune to work with Muzza twice and he’s not always been appreciated as well as he might – so I’m pleased to see that those who worked with him in Cambridge saw the guy I loved working with: full of ideas, energy, passion for news.
His love of newspapers is inarguable – which makes hime the only person I know to have been a news editor at major newspapers in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
I hope he lands on his feet with his next venture -and will post if I hear any more.
PS – Murray’s rant against do-gooders who opposed his newspaper’s campaign to prevent illegal gypsy camps can be found here and is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.