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Deputy moves on as new weekly editor is named

A weekly newspaper is to get its first new editor for 25 years this summer as both the current editor and his deputy prepare to bow out.

Chris Towner is stepping down in August as editor of independent weekly the Stratford-upon-Avon Herald after a quarter of a century in the hot seat.

It has now been announced that his successor will be Amanda Chalmers, left, currently deputy editor of the Johnston Press-owned Daventry Express.

At the same time, it was also announced that Chris’s deputy, Richard Howarth, will be leaving the paper at the end of July.

It is understood that Richard was interviewed for the editor’s job, but has since decided to take a role as acting deputy editor at the Banbury Guardian, covering for a period of maternity leave.

Amanda’s appointment was announced by managing director Richard Boyden in a message to staff last week.

It read:  “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Amanda Chalmers to the role of editor.  Amanda follows an illustrious line of previous editors and will succeed Chris Towner, upon his retirement.

“Amanda brings to us a wealth of knowledge and experience of the regional press, gained over a career within the industry spanning almost 26 years.

“Amanda shares our passion and, most importantly our ethos, for traditional, high quality publications, which are proudly at the heart of our local community, but with a clear and thoughtfully formulated vision and strategy for the future.

“Amanda will take up her new role at the beginning of August. Sadly, Richard Howarth, our current deputy editor, will also be leaving us at the end of July.”

Before taking up the deputy’s role in Daventry, Amanda was deputy editor at the Buckingham Advertiser for eight years and has also been a sub-editor/production manager at the Northampton Chronicle and Echo.

She is due to take over from Chris on 14 August.

Amanda said: “I am thrilled to be following in the footsteps of Chris Towner as editor of the Herald, who has done sterling work over the past 25 years in establishing the paper as such a cornerstone in the community.

“I hope to further build on this success and already have exciting plans to carry the papers forward into a new era of growth.

“I very much look forward to meeting readers, advertisers and key members of the community, to personally learn about what people want from their Herald and  how we can best deliver it, in tandem with up-to-the minute coverage on our digital platforms.

“Exciting times are ahead—and I am extremely proud to soon be a part of them.”


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  • June 23, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Amanda is one of the good ones – a fine journalist and a pleasure to work with.
    She’s also got bags of energy and enthusiasm and treats her staff with respect. The Herald should be a good fit.

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  • June 23, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Chris Towner will be a very difficult act to follow! He’s done so much for the ‘Herald’ – at the same time I can understand how Richard feels.
    Hopefully Amanda has the same zeal for sniffing out good ‘loclal’ stories. Ken Jackson

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  • June 23, 2014 at 11:12 am

    A new editor at the Herald is long, long overdue. I hope Amanda is able to turn it around and give the dead horse a new lease of life. Ken Jackson of Stafford above must be thinking of a different paper. In the last few years the paper has virtually died a death. Preston Witts is the only talent although I could do without his long winded Spotlights.

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  • June 23, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Good luck to Richard Howarth in his new role. I’m sure the Stratford Herald’s loss will be the Banbury Guardian’s gain.

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  • June 23, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    To be an editor for 25 years is an accolade in itself. Chris was my first news editor (in Doncaster). He was very encouraging and patient with trainees there, and I will always be grateful for that.

    I think he has been very astute in choosing to work for an independent rather than be involved in too much corporate insanity in a national group. Good on yer, Chris, and enjoy your retirement.

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