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Exeter editor to take on new role in newspaper transfer

The Mid Devon Gazette is to transfer to a different part of the Northcliffe Media group, and will now be part of the stable of titles produced at the company’s Exeter base.

Responsibility for the editorial and commercial content of the Mid Devon Gazette Series will come under the South West Media Group.

Staff were told about the changes yesterday afternoon, and no redundancies are expected.

Northcliffe says that a number of consultations will take place with people directly affected by the change, although terms and conditions of employment will remain unchanged.

The paper was previously part of Cornwall & Devon Media, which publishes the Gazette, the North Devon Journal, The West Briton, the Cornish Guardian and The Cornishman.

Express & Echo editor Marc Astley will assume the editor’s role for the Gazette.

The change came about after research in 2005 showed its readers look towards Exeter for jobs, leisure and shopping.

A joint statement from the two regional managing directors involved, Tony Hazell, and Duncan Currall, said: “As a result of that study, we have concluded that it would be possible to generate more revenues from that bigger market place if responsibility for the editorial and commercial content of the Mid Devon Gazette Series was handled by South West Media Group who publish our Northcliffe titles out of Exeter.

“The development of the Mid Devon Gazette has been impressive over the last few years and we hope that closer links with Exeter will further improve its position in the market.

“Terms and conditions of employment will remain unchanged and we very much expect it to be ‘business as usual’ once the transfer has taken place.”

A project team has been formed to handle the transfer process, chaired by SWMG’s deputy managing director, Chris Coward.

The team will liaise with managers across the businesses to ensure the project is completed with minimum disruption to customers and staff.