One friend of the Marple Leaf, with extensive experience of the local paper here, the Stockport Express, has this to say.
Another nail in the coffin of local /regional journalism. The phrase: " … Reporters will continue to work their patches, but no longer from a local office …" completely sums up the bean counters' complete lack of understanding of how journalism works.
I think it's a nail in the coffin for the existing model. There has to be a better way, different margins, different priorities, better use of technology, better use of user generated content. Ultra local, rather than regions that people don't relate to. Sites like the Marple UK give a glimpse. Papers like the free Review do too. But it's a far cry from where we've come from.