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New editors named for North-East dailies as JP reshuffles pack

New editors have been named for two North East regional dailies in an editorial reshuffle by publisher Johnston Press.

John Szymanski, editor of the Shields Gazette since 2002, is to take charge of the Sunderland Echo, the company has announced.

He succeeds Rob Lawson, who quit after ten years in the editor’s chair last October, on the same day as the announcement that the company’s print plant in Sunderland was closing.

John’s job as Gazette editor goes to Joy Yates, who will combine the role with her existing one as editor of the Hartlepool Mail.

Richard Ord, who had been acting editor of the Echo, will revert to his previous role as deputy editor.

The changes, which will take effect from today, were announced to staff on Friday in an internal memo by Stephen Plews, managing director of JP’s North-East business unit.

Said Stephen:  “The next few months are extremely important for the business as we move into our planned period of re-launches and these appointments are key to that process.

“I know you will all give your full support to John, Richard and Joy and wish them every success.”

John’s move to the Echo is the second time he has taken over from Rob Lawson in an editor’s chair.   He originally moved to the Gazette in 2002 when Rob switched to the Echo.

Joy has been editor of the Mail since 2006.   She was previously deputy editor of the Gazette, having joined the paper in 1988.