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Regional daily editor in sudden departure

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.”

Steven Fletcher, currently deputy editor of the Nottingham Post, is to replace Jon on an acting basis, but has not been given the editor’s title.

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.”

Jon, 44, took over at Lincoln in succession to Mike Sassi in 2006, having been editor of the Scunthorpe Telegraph for the previous four years.

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.

8 comments

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  • July 13, 2011 at 9:13 am
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    And so it continues. At least he has the balls to go at his own chosen speed (unless there are behind the scenes things going on). Respect to him for that. How many other Northcliffe/ regional editors will decide they want no part of this? Too few I imagine – they’ll cling to the wreckage desperately changing tack every five minutes to protect their shrinking empires. So well done Jon – I only met you once and you didn’t seem like the traditional Northcliffe patsy.

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  • July 13, 2011 at 9:14 am
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    Err, I think patsy is the wrong word. Toadie is more what I mean

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  • July 13, 2011 at 9:18 am
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    I think the public sector workers are somewhat lucky to be able to consider retiring on a pension – decent or not – at the end of their career, whether it’s 65, 60 or even 70.
    Working in newspapers guarantees you’ll never make it that far. How many staff retire from regional newspapers these days?
    We tend to read about them getting the push, stepping down or simply dropping dead.
    What will become of YOU?

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  • July 13, 2011 at 11:01 am
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    Excellent points Lincolnite.

    Early grave, redundancy or relative poverty for life. Why do we do it?

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  • July 13, 2011 at 11:03 am
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    Sorry to see Jon step down. A decent and talented man in a tough role. But he’s still young and I just hope this is not the end of his time in newspapers.
    It’s worth remembering the stirring words he used when he joined the Echo as editor, which should inspire us all.

    “Never be afraid of failure. Michael Jordan said: ‘I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot… and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s precisely why I succeed…’.”

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  • July 13, 2011 at 11:25 am
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    It’s getting mighty crowded out here. I like the Dylan reference from harold though. Good luck to Jon. May he and many others live to tell tales of how they triumphed after the dark days when the idiot wind blew through the industry.

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  • July 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm
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    Sorry to see Jon go. Met him a few times and seemed a nice chap. Congratulations to Steve Fletcher though. A great appointment. Done a sterling job with the Post and is sure to do good work when he takes the helm at the Echo.

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  • July 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm
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    I’ve known and worked with Jon for a number of years and I wish him well in the future – definitely a loss for Northcliffe and Lincoln. What I always like about him was his ability to see a clear strategy amongst all the noise. I’m sure he will do well in his new venture.

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