Ex Editor Gloats On Site Slump: ‘Told You So’

Gloating from the afterlife, former editor Stewart Kirkpatrick has poured a torrent of “told-you-so” on the news site’s present-day proprietors, using his appropriately named Sour Alba blog to accuse Johnston Press of “ruining” the publication with its December 2007 redesign.
Kirkpatrick, who started with in 2000 but who quit in 2006 for consulting, wrote: “I knew that traffic would tank. I warned Tim Bowder, the JP chief executive, of this face-to-face, saying the JP redesign would lose ‘millions of page views and hundreds of thousands of users’. My warning was ignored and a JP apparatchik later explained that I had not understood how good their plans were.”
Kirkpatrick gloated that traffic has halved since he left, as testified by our contribution to the war-of-words – a picture; this chart of ABCe traffic since 2002, which, in fairness, shows that the rot began before the redesign (though still after Kirkpatrick’s exit).
It’s not the first time Kirkpatrick has unleashed a can of whoopass on his former employer – he’s previously labelled Johnston execs “muppets” responsible for killing Scottish journalism, and admits to being “slightly biased towards the version created when I was editor”.
JP digital manager John Bradshaw retired in June after former AOL (NYSE: TWX) UK strategy VP Lori Cunningham replacing Alex Green as digital director. Johnston, which is waiting to replace outgoig CEO Bowdler with Archant’s John Fry and has seen its share price collapse as it debt blossomed, this week committed to publish ABCe stats for more papers – at this rate, it will beware former editors with blogs.