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Essex news ed takes charge of Archant weekly

Essex Chronicle news chief Matt Adams is the new editor of the Herts Advertiser.

Matt takes over the editorship from Noel Cantillon, left, who is retiring from the Archant title after 36 years – the last 22 of which have been as editor.

He is due to take up the new role on 14 April with an overlap ahead of Noel’s final day on 24 April.

Matt said: “It will certainly be a challenge to take over from someone with such a rich experience in the area but there will be a handover period during which I will be making the most of the time I spend working alongside Noel.

“I am eagerly anticipating the move towards further digital integration and bringing my experience in this area to the Herts Advertiser but will also be carrying on the newspaper’s tradition of useful, relevant and compelling journalism.”

“Matt is a former news editor and assistant editor with the Essex Chronicle Media Group and recently stepped up to be acting editor-in-chief, charged with developing the website.”

He has also developed a two-year graduate training programme for new reporters during his time with the Northcliffe group.

Noel, originally from Limerick, started his professional life as an accountant but, after deciding he “hated it”, chose a career in journalism.

He had various jobs in London before joining the Herts and Essex Observer series, based in Bishops Stortford, in 1964.

From there he progressed through the Newham Recorder, Hemel Hempstead Echo and Post and Dunstable Gazette before joining the Herts Advertiser in 1973 as deputy editor.

Noel is just the 12th editor of the paper in its 153-year history and he oversaw the title’s switch from paid-for to free title in the late 1980s and the 150th anniversary celebrations in 2005.

One of Noel’s last tasks as editor is to prepare his team for the new Archant editorial content management system.

He said: “Having worked through the two big changes in newspapers – the rise of the frees in the 70s and the introduction of new technology in the 80s – I’m bowing out in the middle of the present big revolution, the integration of print media and the web.

“Change might have seemed daunting each time but always brought huge positives and no doubt will do so again this time around.

“It will certainly seem strange at first to approach the Herts Advertiser as a reader rather than an editor and I’ll certainly try to refrain from peppering the letters page with grumpy complaints.”


peejay (27/03/2009 14:14:21)
I just hope that Matt can be half as good an editor as Noel h as been for the Herts Ad.