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Gilson leaves Argus editor role after two years in charge

mike-gilson-1The editor of Brighton daily The Argus has left the newspaper after two years in charge, publisher Newsquest has confirmed.

Mike Gilson, left, joined the South Coast title in December 2014 having previously edited four other UK regional dailies.

At the time, the appointment was seen as a major coup for Newsquest, which hailed Mike’s “outstanding pedigree” as a multi award-winning newsman.

However staff were told today that Mike has now left the paper, with head of content Lucy Pearce stepping up to take his place and London group editor Andy Parkes taking on a wider regional role.

Tony Portelli, managing director Newsquest South London and Sussex, confirmed the moves in a statement issued this afternoon.

It read:  “Mike Gilson, group editor for Sussex, has left the company. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Mike for his contribution to the company and I hope that you will join me in wishing Mike every success in the future.

“With immediate effect Andy Parkes will take on the role of group managing editor for South London and Sussex. Andy is currently group managing editor for Newsquest South London. Andy will continue to report into me.

“Lucy Pearce will take on the role of editor/head of content for Newsquest Sussex also with immediate effect. In addition to driving the day to day news agenda Lucy will also be active in representing our titles within the business community.

“All staff that previously reported to Mike Gilson will now report into Lucy. Lucy will report into Andy Parkes.

“I am sure that you will join me in wishing both Andy and Lucy every success in their new roles.”

Mike joined the Argus after five years at the Belfast Telegraph, during which time it won the UK Regional Newspaper of the Year award in 2011.

He had also previously edited three Johnston Press owned titles – The Scotsman, The News, Portsmouth and the Peterborough Telegraph.

Last month he oversaw the paper’s move into new city centre offices in Manchester Street, Brighton, after 23 years at Holingbury industrial estate on the outskirts of the city.

LUCY PEARCEAt the time he said: “The team are still settling in, but Manchester Street feels like it will be a fantastic home for The Argus for many years to come.”

Lucy, right, steps up to the editor role after three years as news editor, having originally joined the paper as assistant news editor in 2012.

She began her career at the Dorset Echo in 2009 and has also worked for the news agency SWNS.

10 comments

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  • December 8, 2016 at 5:14 pm
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    Doesn’t say what Mike’s doing next. Hope he planned this move or, with Newsquest’s record, other editors in the group should update their CV.

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  • December 8, 2016 at 8:38 pm
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    Mike has been a truly outstanding editor with guts and fully willing to make the case for local news, newsprint and investigative journalism. The future does not look good for an independent and courageous newspaper such as the Argus with the beancounters calling the shots.

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  • December 8, 2016 at 9:05 pm
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    It just goes from bad to worse. Morale had plumbed new depths. Gilson was brilliant at his job.

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  • December 8, 2016 at 11:26 pm
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    The best and worst editor II ever worked for. Start up on your own Gilly and you would do the industry proud.
    I might even work for you. I sincerely wish you all the best.

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  • December 9, 2016 at 12:24 pm
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    I’m not often lost for words…
    Losing a top editor and promoting the inexperienced news editor? wtf?
    Looks like an even more difficult future than expected for the once proud Argus.

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  • December 9, 2016 at 12:55 pm
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    I can only surmise that Mr Gilson was asked to wield the hatchet and chose to fall on his own sword instead. My advice to anyone working for Scroogequest is to get out as soon as possible. Do not assume that your job is safe. Sorry to be such a doom-monger.

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  • December 12, 2016 at 10:37 am
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    Poisoned Chalice, Mike got out before they turned it into a weekly, simple as that.

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  • December 12, 2016 at 10:55 am
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    Inclined to agree with suspicions of Hotel 900. On an average sale of about 12,000 a day it surely cannot support a morning paper (It was once an evening paper selling 100,000 plus by the way). Perhaps someone saw the writing clearly on the wall.

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  • December 12, 2016 at 4:29 pm
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    It must be full of ads to support a daily on those figures. It is selling roughly 6,000 copies per day less than the Scarborough Evening News was when it was moved to a weekly, and that has half the population of Brighton

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  • December 13, 2016 at 11:51 am
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    Desker. Its sales in Brighton are tragic when you think of how many people live there. Forget the rest of Sussex, they long ago abandoned district offices and everyone is huddled in Brighton. Reader penetration in Brighton, as the ad people used to call it, must be dismal. But Gilson did his mighty best to keep up standards. Trouble was, he was up against the greedy Gannetts.

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