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Editors swept off in major shake-up at PUNCH

By The Citizen
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All three title editors have been removed from their posts, while 11 key members of staff in the advert unit of the paper were also fired in a surprising change of guards. PUNCH Newspaper boasts of the highest staff turnover in the Nigerian newspaper industry. Just a few title and line editors had spent up to four years in the positions in the newspaper.

“If you were a worker in the newspaper some four years ago, if you work into paper’s offices, you can hardly recognise anybody. All the persons you knew had gone.

“That explains why many journalists are reluctant to work there despite their good workers compensation packages in the company,” a source close to the workings in the newspaper said.

According to investigations, the  changes which saw Joseph Adeyeye, who was until Wednesday the editor of the daily edition of the paper,  promoted Controller, publications, also saw Chiawo Nwankwo, who was  appointed the Sunday editor only seven months ago redeployed to the editorial board.

Nwankwo was transferred from the paper's Abuja Bureau, where he was head, in May 2012 and spent barely seven months on the job.

Mr. Adeyeye, who will supervise the new title editors and oversee the paper's ambitious plan to print simultaneously in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja, has now been replaced by Business Editor Martin Ayankola.

Mr. Ayankola, a 1989 graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, joined the paper in 2009 and was a surprise pick for the job. Some aggrieved senior editors, who described themselves as Mr. Ayankola's superior, described his appointment as arbitrary but did not challenge his capacity to deliver.

For the SATURDAY PUNCH, the new editor is Emeka Madunagu, a reporter who was until his appointment the paper's online editor. He had, at various times, worked as news editor and member of the editorial board.

Toyosi Ogunseye takes over from Mr. Nwankwo as editor of SUNDAY PUNCH.

Like Mr. Ayankola, Ms Ogunseye joined the paper in 2009 after stints in SUN and News Star. In 2011, she won the MSD Health and Medical Award in that year's edition of the CNN/Multichoice African Journalist of the Year Awards.