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Axed former deputy editor in weekly comeback

A former deputy editor made redundant from his job on New Year’s Eve last year is to return to newspapers as the new boss of a group of weekly titles.

Frank le Duc, left, has been named as the new editor-in-chief of Northcliffe subsidiary East Surrey and Sussex News and Media Ltd.

Until 31 December 2008, Frank was deputy editor of The Argus, Brighton, but left in a round of cost cuts.

Now the 44-year-old is to take over the editorship of the Reigate-based Surrey Mirror Series and also have a strategic overview of ESSNM which includes the Croydon Advertiser, Crawley News and East Grinstead Courier and Observer.

Frank has spent 25 years as journalist on local and national newspapers, trained journalists for 16 years and set up and run a news website.

Before joining The Argus, he spent 12 years at The Times where he was part of the team which turned the paper from a broadsheet to a tabloid.

In his earlier career, he worked for the Thurrock Gazette, the Financial Times, the Oxford Journal and a Westminster law firm, where he was a communications consultant.

He said: “I am looking forward to working with some talented journalists and trying to ensure our newspapers and websites stay at the heart of the communities we serve.”

Alan Geere, editorial director of Northcliffe Media South East, said: “We are delighted to have attracted a candidate of Frank’s calibre to this top job.

“His all round expertise will complement the talented teams we already have in place and help us achieve some of the exciting and aggressive plans we have for 2010.”

Frank’s appointment completes a merry-go-round of senior editorial changes in the South-East region over recent months.

He replaces Ian Carter who in turn replaced Kent Messenger editorial director Simon Irwin who is now group editor of Archant’s lifestyle magazines in the region.