A weekly newspaper editor who has spent 20 years with the same publisher has left the company after his post was made redundant.
Derek Holmes was the editor of Newsquest Oxfordshire’s weekly papers, which include the Oxford Times, Bicester Advertiser, Witney Gazette and Banbury Cake, but has left the company as part of a cost-cutting restructure.
Under the move, Oxford Mail editor Simon O’Neill will assume editorial responsibility for the weekly papers, as group editor for all the Oxfordshire titles.
The move was announced to staff yesterday by Shamus Donald, regional managing director for Newsquest Oxfordshire and Wiltshire in an internal memo which has been seen by HoldtheFrontPage,
It said: “Trading conditions remain challenging and we continue to seek ways to operate more efficiently and reduce costs.
“We have reviewed the editorial structure in Oxfordshire and have concluded that the department can be run well with a single editor.
“Following recent discussions with Simon O’Neill, Oxford Mail Editor, and Derek Holmes, Weeklies Editor, I am writing to let you know that Derek is leaving the business and that Simon will assume editorial responsibility, as Group Editor, for all Oxfordshire’s titles.
“I am sorry that Derek is leaving. He is a fine journalist as well as a hard-working, supportive colleague. I want to thank him for everything he has done during his 20 years here and to wish him well.
“This change in the editorial management structure takes effect immediately.”
Newsquest chief executive Paul Davidson was not available for comment at the time of publication.