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Top award for 'loyal' sports editor

A sports editor praised for ‘rescuing’ a newspaper’s sports pages has been crowned Archant London’s editorial person of the year.

Judges described Stuart Henderson, of the Kentish Times group, as “loyal, reliable and always consistent” and commended him for rescuing the sports coverage with his flair for design and developing his video and web content skills.

The panel added: “In addition to producing well-designed and lively sports pages, Stuart also brings his considerable design and sub-editing skills to the news pages.

“He fully embraces the web and contributes far-reaching ideas to the newspapers’ agenda.” Meanwhile, Stuart’s editor Melody Foreman was crowned the division’s employee of the year.

She was praised for running the most cost-effective editorial department in Archant London, as well as for being innovative, embracing change and backing advertising needs.

Judges said: “The one thing that shines through most brightly about Melody is that she cares so very passionately about the products that she edits – a quality that if we could bottle and retail would earn us a fortune.”

Melody and Stuart joined other editorial and advertising staff at the annual awards bash.

They will join winners from the Herts and Cambs, Norfolk, Suffolk and South West divisions at the company-wide awards in London next month.

Other Archant London editorial winners are:

Newcomer of the Year
Emma Youle is a trainee reporter who joined Archant London at the end of October last year. She works on the Journal titles North London and her editor Tony Allcock described her as “one of the best trainee reporters I have employed in over 30 years and a fantastic example to other staff”.

Team of the Year
This combined editorial, sales and management team at the Bromley & Bexley Times was singled out for its focus, drive and determination. The team was praised for its “attention to detail, the camaraderie and the passion shown across both of the editorial and advertising teams, backed up by a strong management focus means”.

Judges said: “The increased revenues and market share, coupled with the high profile that the publications now enjoy, means that the team responsible for the success deserve to be awarded not only team of the year in London, but across Archant as a whole.”

Innovation or New Launch of the Year
The ‘5 Routes to Market’ initiative saw highly visible hand-delivery teams giving out papers on publication day, as well as free pick-up sites located throughout the Kentish Times patch.

Other market routes include door-to-door distribution, retail sales and online. The response was described as “overwhelming” with demand far outstripping supply and the campaign was praised for raising the profile of online brands.

Product or Service of the Year
Launched in 2000, the Ilford and Barking & Dagenham Recorder website boasts an ever-growing audience which has increased from 13,000 unique visitors per month two years ago to 31,000 in September this year. Page impressions have also grown by 35pc year-on-year.

The Ilford-based editorial team were singled out for being brave, experimental and innovative and judges praised them for boosting audience figures, and in turn giving advertising staff a platform to grow revenues.

  • Winners from the Archant London awards