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Online news service poaches MEN business editor

The rapidly-expanding online North-West business news service TheBusinessDesk has scored a fresh coup by poaching the business editor of the Manchester Evening News.

Chris Barry handed in his notice to the MEN on Thursday and is understood to have been immediately sent home on gardening leave.

The MEN has refused to comment on the story, but TheBusinessDesk founder David Parkin has confirmed that Chris will be joining his team.

He will be heading up TheBusinessDesk’s new North-West operation based in King Street, Manchester.

David Parkin described Chris as “a top class editor and very well respected journalist.”

“I said when we launched that this region deserves quality journalism and real investment, and I think this shows that we’re prepared to follow through on our promises,” he said.

“We took the decision to launch here and show our commitment prior to having the entire team in place, as that demonstrated how serious we are and enabled certain conversations to happen.”

Chris had been with the MEN for the past decade, moving up to take the mantle of business editor two and a half years ago.

A spokeswoman for the MEN said: “We don’t comment on staff issues.”

In a separate development MEN publisher, GMG Regional Media has announced the appointment of David Sharrock as chief operating officer. He will report to GMG Regional Media chief executive Mark Dodson.