AddThis SmartLayers

Editor and his deputy to leave Trinity Mirror weekly

Editor Simon Jones and deputy editor Jeremy Drakes are both leaving the Reading Chronicle to start new careers.

Simon, who is also editor-in-chief of Berkshire Regional Newspapers, is to become head of communications for Hammersmith and Fulham Council, while Jeremy is embarking on a career as an actor.

Simon, (36), said it was “pure coincidence” the pair were leaving at the same time, and after 18 years in journalism he was looking forward to the new challenge of PR.

He told HoldtheFrontPage: “It’s time for a change and a fresh direction.

“I love newspapers but am looking for a fresh challenge. I like campaigning and it will be nice to pit my skills on the other side of the fence.”

During his 18 months in Reading, Simon has overseen a host of changes – most notably the introduction of a Polish edition of the Chronicle which has been published weekly since November.

He also led a relaunch of the Chronicle, and two weeks ago its sister paper, the Bracknell News, was relaunched.

Since starting out at the Bishop’s Stortford Herald and Post after leaving school, Simon has worked for Sunday Mirror, Western Mail and Enfield Advertiser and Barnet Press.

He also spent three years working for newspapers and magazines in New Zealand, and before moving to Reading was editor-in-chief of Trinity Mirror’s West London and North London titles, which include the Harrow Observer.

Simon said of his move: “In many respects it will be the same – most local authorities now have their own publications which are important in terms of interacting with residents and I will be advising the council on how to get its message across which will bring exciting opportunities.”

For Jeremy though, his move is a leap into the unknown after 15 years with Trinity Mirror.

After a series of auditions he has won a place at the Drama Studio London, in Ealing, and will spend the next 12 months getting a broad grounding in acting.

The 41-year-old deputy group editor said: “I’m going to see where it leads – which may not be anywhere!

“I’m treating it as a life experience and if it does lead to professional acting work then great – if it doesn’t it’s been a great experience for a year.

“I have no preconceptions.

“I’ve done plays with amateur groups and at first I thought I was too old to do this but then I thought I’d regret it if I didn’t give it a go.”