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Dedicated editors for West Country weeklies

Three West Country weeklies are to regain their own separate editors as a regional publisher bucks the centralisation trend.

The Cornishman, Cornish Guardian, and West Briton have been without dedicated editors since 2006.

But publisher Cornwall and Devon Media, part of Northcliffe Media, has now announced new editors for all three papers in what it says is a bid to “refocus” the titles.

Jacqui Walls of the Exeter Express and Echo is to become editor of the Cornishman, Zena O’Rourke moves from the Western Gazette to edit the Cornish Guardian, and Richard Best switches from editing the North Devon Journal to the West Briton.

All three will report to Cornwall and Devon Media editor-in-chief Andy Cooper, who will also edit the North Devon Journal.

The move in CDM mirrors developments in Northcliffe’s South Wales division earlier this year. In February the Llanelli Star and Carmarthen Journal regained their own editors having previously both come under the stewardship of Robert Lloyd who left the papers in November.

Mr Cooper told HTFP: “We’ve decided to invest some more money in editors. We’ve got some really strong weeklies here and we want to keep them strong.”

The moves come at a time when many publishers are moving away from dedicated editors for individual titles and more towards the editor-in-chief model.