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Long-serving deputy bows out after new daily editor named

A long-serving regional daily deputy editor is to leave his role this week after the top job at his paper went to an external candidate.

Jon Simcock, deputy editor of the Shropshire Star for the past 11 years, is understood to have been interviewed for the editorship of the paper after Keith Harrison moved to daily stablemate the Express & Star.

However it was announced on Thursday that the job had gone to Martin Wright, a former Shropshire Star reporter who is currently associate editor of North Wales daily The Leader.

Martin,  a former reporter on the Star, is due to join the paper on 6 May.

Jon’s decision to leave was announced to staff on Friday by Phil Inman, managing director of parent company the Midland Newspaper Association.

He said: “Jon Simcock has decided to leave the business in order to pursue other opportunities.

“He will leave on Friday 15 March. Jon has worked for Shropshire Newspapers since 1989 and for the past 11 years has combined the roles of deputy editor and news editor of the Shropshire Star.

“Jon leaves with our best wishes for the future.”

As deputy editor Jon had been expected to manage the paper during the interregnum between Keith’s departure on 29 March and Martin’s arrival on 6 May.

However this role will now go to Mark Drew, currently executive editor at the Express & Star, who is to be seconded to the Shropshire title for a 13-week period.

Said Phil:  “Express & Star executive editor Mark Drew will move across to Shropshire for a 13-week period from Monday 18 March.

“Mark will work alongside Keith Harrison for two weeks and then edit the title for a period of five weeks between March 30 and May 4. Mark will then support the new editor Martin for six weeks from May 6.”

5 comments

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  • March 11, 2013 at 2:42 pm
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    Sounds like his pride has been dented and he’s left in a fit of pique. I hope he doesn’t come to regret his decision. Dignity doesn’t pay the bills.

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  • March 11, 2013 at 2:58 pm
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    So much for long and loyal service. The Shropshire Star is losing one of its greatest assets! Best wishes for the future Jon.

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  • March 11, 2013 at 6:56 pm
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    What an awful way to be treated… Jon, you are a top guy and the MNA is losing a great asset. As for management at the MNA, you have my utter contempt, and believe me, I’m not the only one.

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  • March 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm
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    @ Curious. Not So. I worked alongside Jon as deputy chief sub at Ketley for several years. He is tough, very hard-working and extremely able. He would richly have deserved promotion. Unfortunately it would appear that in the last 15 years MNA has adopted a policy, conscious or otherwise, of not rewarding its stalwarts with the top jobs. I left the Shropshire Star in 2001 over the chief sub’s appointment for exactly the same reasons. It was utterly pointless to continue.

    PS I did figure out a way to pay my bills beforehand . . .

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  • March 13, 2013 at 10:35 am
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    I worked in reporting and news editing roles alongside Jon for the best part of 20 years. He is loyal, able and respected. He should have been made editor – and I know my old Ketley colleagues would agree. As a pensioner now, I am sad to see the slide of a newspaper for which I was proud to work. The departure of one of its best people will only hasten the Shropshire Star’s decline. I wish the best for Jon and his family.

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