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New editor appointed for two regional dailies

A weekly newspaper editor is leaving Johnston Press after spending most of his career with the regional publisher to become editor of two regional dailies.

Colin Channon, left, who edits the Chicester Observer series and the Herald & Gazette series, will become editor-in-chief of Newsquest Essex, where he will lead the Basildon-based Echo and the Daily Gazette in Colchester.

In his new role, which he begins on 20 January, he will have overall responsibility for a series of weekly titles including the Essex County Standard, Clacton and Frinton Gazette and the Harwich and Manningtree Standard.

Colin will replace Martin McNeill who is returing from the industry after more than 40 years, 23 of which have been as a regional daily editor in Essex.

HTFP reported in August that Martin would leave the titles in the New Year and that the search for his replacement had begun.

Johnston Press will not replace Colin in his role as editor-in-chief of Sussex West but will combine the role with those of the Sussex North centres under a single editor-in-chief, Gary Shipton.

Said Colin: “I have been with JP for the majority of my career (I left school in 1978 and started work as a junior reporter with The News in indentures at the Gosport district office), and later became sports editor and chief sub in Portsmouth.

“It’s a real wrench leaving JP South as there are so many very talented people here, as well as being very nice people and great to work alongside.

“But ever since I was a rookie reporter, I have wanted to edit a daily paper – and the opportunity to take on this prestigious role with and working on such highly regarded newspapers was too good to turn down.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as an editor in West Sussex and I will be leaving behind a very talented team who are committed to their newspapers, who share my passion for our titles to be part of the community and to ensure our papers and the websites are the best they can be.”

He added that he had been impressed by the “stunning” papers in Essex and had been made very welcome when visiting them last week.

Colin began his career on The News in Portsmouth and later became sports editor then chief sub at the title, before becoming editor of the Observer series seven years ago.

He was later made editor-in-chief of Sussex West, when he took on the Herald & Gazette series along with overall responsibility for the Etc magazine.

Karl Dimmock, regional MD for Johnston Press, said: “While I am sad that Colin is leaving us this is a great opportunity for him and I thank him for the excellent contribution he has made to Johnston Press South, congratulate him on securing this prestigious role in the industry and wish him every success when he leaves us.

“Gary will take on the new combined role on Colin’s departure and I am sure you will join me in wishing him well as he and his team continue to grow our total audiences in print and online.”

Gary has nearly 25 years’ experience of editing newspapers in West Sussex and currently leads titles including the West Sussex County Times, the West Sussex Gazette and the Mid Sussex Times.

2 comments

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  • December 10, 2013 at 10:47 am
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    Good luck Colin, and many thanks from Paul at The Worthing Journal.

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  • December 10, 2013 at 11:47 pm
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    Yes, all the best, Colin. You’d have to go a long way to find a harder-working editor or one more involved in his communities than Colin has been here.

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