AddThis SmartLayers

Potteries comeback for axed York editor

A former regional editor who lost his job in a recent management shake-up is to return to his hometown paper in a newly-created senior role.

Kevin Booth, left, was editor of The Press, York, until last autumn when he was forced to compete against his own MD, Steve Hughes, for a single role of managing editor.

Now Kevin, who is also a former editor of the Peterborough Evening Telegraph, is rejoining The Sentinel, in his native Stoke-on-Trent, nearly 30 years after first getting a job there as a reporter.

He has been appointed as deputy head of the new West Midlands Production Hub, which will come into operation on Monday.

Kevin, who was born and brought up in the Potteries, began his newspaper career in 1974, working on weekly papers in North Staffordshire until 1980, when he joined The Sentinel.

After a spell at the Birmingham Evening Mail, he rejoined the paper as chief reporter in 1989 and was deputy sports editor when he left in 1992 to join the Derby Evening Telegraph as deputy news editor.

He left Derby for the Bristol Evening Post in 1997 and was promoted to deputy editor before landing his first editorship at Peterborough in 2000.

Moving to The Press in 2003, he was editor at York for five years until losing out in last year’s restructuring operation.

The new centralised hub will be responsible for producing The Sentinel plus the Central Independent Newspaper titles including the Tamworth Herald, Lichfield Mercury, Sutton Coldfield Observer and Walsall Advertiser.

Its introduction resulted in redundancies for around 24 of the 42 staff previously employed at the CIN titles including the editors of the Mercury, Observer and Advertiser.

The production hub will he headed by Charlotte Littlejones, currently The Sentinel’s chief sub-editor. In addition to Charlotte and Kevin, there will also be two assistant heads of production, Chris Blackhurst and Rob Allcock.

The apppointments were announced to staff this week by Sentinel editor-in-chief Mike Sassi.


Grimm reaper (26/03/2009 08:43:30)
No recruitment freeze at Northcliffe then – that’s a relief.

intrigued… (26/03/2009 11:43:00)
Is there some kind of timer switch that deletes posts after 45 minutes when you highlight home truths?
I wonder if I’d criticised another newspaper proprietor would my comments have been removed?

tiger (26/03/2009 11:58:42)
I’m opening a book on it… well, those who were unceremoniously binned from the Sentinel recently will rightly feel aggrieved at what appears to be a degree of double-dealing here. Why were the staff who were laid off not considered for this? Anyway, the “centralised hub” (for that, read subbing sweatshop) spells the end of good journalism as we know it, and it will surely hasten the decline of sales as local knowledge goes out of the window. All those who have been stabbed in the back by your bosses, you’re better off out of it…

HoldtheFrontPage (26/03/2009 12:18:43)
intrigued: We had to remove it for legal reasons. More generally speaking, please bear in mind that HTFP needs to operate within the constraints of media law. Libellous or potentially libellous comments will be removed.

HappyWednesdays (26/03/2009 12:22:34)
I’m made up.
He’s an excellent fellow AND a Stoke City fan. (We all have our faults)

intrigued (26/03/2009 13:06:22)
Let me state very clearly that I have nothing against Mr Booth.
I do however have a problem with the ease of casting off excellent journalists and then employing somebody in a ‘new’ position.
Also, please don’t try to make out to your readers that my comments were libellous. They simply weren’t. Just me ‘having my say’ on this story – in a very opinionated but non-libellous way.

not intrigued (26/03/2009 14:24:10)
put your dummy back in mate, we’re all pee’d off about one thing or another

not intrigued neither (26/03/2009 15:06:53)
And I’m not aware of any ‘excellent journalists’ (sic) who’ve been ‘cast off’ recently.

Miss Cynical (26/03/2009 15:25:53)
I bet this guy is laughing all the way to the bank!
This article conveniently skirts around the real story.
He appears to have been made redundant – for which I am sure he would have been offered a sizeable package.
Less than one year later, they’re paying his wages again. It all turned out pretty nicely for this guy!

Scott Armstrong (26/03/2009 15:50:36)
I’m sorry Miss Cynical but you know not of what you speak.
Kevin was absolutely gutted to leave The Press, it was not by choice, and many of his team were equally gutted to see one of the best editors they have worked with leave.
2009 is a difficult year for industry end of story, restructuring is happening everywhere!!! It’s called a recession.
I am delighted that he has managed to get back into the industry he loves so much. The Sentinel staff will soon see they are lucky to get him.
Oh yes, by the way the Sentinel is owned by a completely different group to The Press.
I’d have thought best wishes to any and all journalists in 2009 are in order, not petty sniping.

Sue Nelson (26/03/2009 16:30:26)
Well said Scott Armstrong. As a contributor to The Press in York I’ve seen from the fringes how gutted Kevin Booth’s staff were when he lost out in the ‘management shake-up’ not to mention Kevin himself. But the apparent sour games comments from others is symptomatic of just how demoralised the regional newspaper industry is at the moment. Don’t forget this was happening before the credit crunch so it’s no wonder morale has plummeted even further in the past few months. As for Kevin, good luck to him -and anyone else who manages to dig themselves out of the current mess.

Tony Pulis (26/03/2009 16:35:32)
Well done Scott – and well said Sue. Kevin Booth is the finest journalist of his generation and without the greatest English centre forward never to play for his country. His move to The Sentinel will undoubredly ensure that Stoke maintain their Premier League status.

Bang2writes (26/03/2009 17:13:45)
Stripped of the personal qualities of Kevin Booth – of which I am genuinely sure there are many – this is a staggering appointment by a company which only recently ruthlessly cut out a tranche of decent subs in the name of survival. How can its management now legitimately concoct a spurious position out of thin air after bleating about needing every penny to safeguard its future? If this job was truly necessary it surely could have been filled by a competent outgoing Sentinel journalist rather than someone who is patently over-qualified. It is behaviour like this which adds to the distress of so many good people who now find themselves on the scrapheap without, I am sure, the parachute of a editor’s pay-off

Mark Casci (27/03/2009 11:26:28)
This is the first story I have read on HTFP in months that has made me smile.
Congratulations and best wishes to Kevin, I know you will have every success (even if his team turned over Boro on Saturday).

PORT VALE FOREVER (27/03/2009 12:02:56)
Nobody sings Delilah like Mr Booth. Welcome back. Newsquest’s loss is Northcliffe’s gain.

TEMPLE OF DOOM (27/03/2009 12:58:31)
Oh crikey! Mr Boot makes comeback.

Giles.P (27/03/2009 14:52:02)
That is a real coup for The Sentinel. Boothy is a good journalist and an A-grade human being. Whatever he’s doing in Stoke, I’m sure he’ll do well. Although, if I remember rightly, he couldn’t make a decent cup of tea!

Gerran Grimshaw (01/04/2009 12:06:26)
Fair play Kevin. Good luck.
As for you Sue, get back in your dodgy boot. The fact you’ve survived as a columnist following the recent shake-up at The Press is what r
eally irks me. Let’s face it, you’re not there for your sparkling prose are you?
Scab jobs for scab labour: former NUJ bigwig becomes strike-breaker.
Yours truly is a tale of tenacity over talent!

Jimhoo tries again (06/05/2009 18:23:34)
1992: Booth takes over from Sassi as deputy news editor in Derby — 1997: Sassi takes over from Booth as deputy editor in Derby — 2009: Sassi gives Booth job as “deputy head of production hub” in Stoke. Funny how these working lives intersect.