The editor of the Lincolnshire Echo has unexpectedly stepped down amid continued speculation that the title is about to go weekly.
Staff at the Northcliffe-owned daily were told yesterday that Jon Grubb, editor for the past five and a half years, is leaving “to pursue new business interests.”
Northcliffe Media managing director Steve Auckland is examining possible frequency changes to some of the group’s daily titles as part of his ongoing portfolio review and the Echo is thought to be one of those under consideration.
Last month the group announced that its South Devon daily the Torquay Herald Express was to go weekly from this week.
The Echo has an average daily sale of 17,667 according to the most recent ABC figures, compared to 21,112 for the Torquay title.
Jon’s departure was announced in a memo to staff by Lincolnshire Echo managing director Mark Price.
It said: “I am disappointed to announce the departure of Jon Grubb from Lincolnshire Media.
“Jon has been editor at the paper for five and a half years and steered the editorial department through considerable change during that time.
“He has also worked hard to grow the reputation of the paper in the community and worked closely with his commercial colleagues to ensure editorial played a part in securing the financial future of the paper.
“Jon has decided to leave to pursue new business interests and we wish him well. He will officially leave the business on Friday 15 July.
“Steve Fletcher, deputy editor of the Nottingham Post, will become acting editor until a full-time appointment has been made. Steve will work alongside Jon prior to Jon’s departure.”
His other roles have included deputy editor of the Nottingham Post and news editor of The Citizen, Gloucester, at the time of the Fred West trial.