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North West daily takes top honours at JP awards

A North West daily was named top title in Johnston Press and took three other honours at the company’s annual group-wide awards.

The Blackpool Gazette also won Best Daily Title and Story of the Year while reporter David Sharman won Daily Trainee Journalist of the Year.

A total of 44 glass trophies were handed out at the ceremony which was attended by around 120 people.

Other big winners included Bourne Local – JP’s controversial newspaper largely made up of user-generated content – which won the Innovation Award.

Honours also went to North East Publishing Unit which was named Publishing Unit of the Year while The Sheffield Star won the Best Use of Social Media award.

Blackpool Gazette's staff show off their award for top daily newspaper

Chief executive Ashley Highfield, who presented the awards, said the evening was a fantastic celebration of the terrific achievements around the company during 2013.

“I’m sure there are lots more success stories happening around the business, but these awards gave us the chance to shine the spotlight on some of the best from 2013 – and also to reward hard work, dedication and innovative thinking on an individual and team basis,” he said.

“Based on the enthusiasm, dedication and commitment we saw last night our company is certainly in safe hands.

“If you have a winner or runner-up from your centre do please congratulate them on their return to the office.

“Working together as one Johnston Press is one of the building blocks to achieving our strategy and I’d like to think the sense of fun and accomplishment these awards have fostered will prove infectious everywhere.”

Also among the winners was the Banbury Guardian which won Weekly Title of the Year while Lancashire Evening Post reporter Aasma Day scooped the Daily Journalist of the Year award.

The full list of winners was as follows:

Publishing Unit of the Year
Winner:  North East Publishing Unit
Runner-up: Midlands

Title of the Year Overall
The Gazette (Blackpool)

Title of the Year Daily
Winner: The Gazette (Blackpool)
Runner-up: Edinburgh Evening News
Title of the Year Large Weekly
Winner: Banbury Guardian
Runner-up: Wigan Observer

Title of the Year Small Weekly
Winner: Bourne Local
Runner-up: Deeside Piper

Magazine of the Year
Winner: etc Sussex
Runner-up: The Star Business magazine, Sheffield

Journalist of the Year Daily
Winner: Aasma Day, Lancashire Evening Post
Runner-up: Alan McEwen, Edinburgh Evening News

Journalist of the Year Weekly
Winner: Jill Buchanan, Falkirk Herald
Runner-up: Helen Beighton, Mansfield Chad

Trainee Journalist of the Year Daily
Winner: David Sharman, The Gazette (Blackpool)

Trainee Journalist of the Year Weekly
Winner: Amanda Devlin, Leighton Buzzard Observer
Runner-up: Olivia Lerche, Chichester Observer Series

Sports Journalist of the Year Daily
Winner: Richard Fidler, The Star, Sheffield

Sports Journalist of the Year Weekly
Winner: Phil Wilkinson, Wigan Evening Post/Wigan Observer
Runner-up: Derek Bish, Anglia Newspapers

Photographer of the Year Daily
Winner: Simon Hulme, Yorkshire Post/Yorkshire Evening Post
Runner-up: Paul Jacobs, The News, Portsmouth

Photographer of the Year Weekly
Winner: Jane Coltman, Northumberland Gazette & Morpeth Herald
Runner-up: David Lowndes, Peterborough Telegraph

Story of the Year in Print & Digital
Winner: The Gazette (Blackpool)
Runner-up: Callum Jones, Northampton Chronicle & Echo

Campaign of the Year
Winner: Edinburgh Evening News, Save Our Police Stations
Runner-up: Northamptonshire Telegraph, Rushden Lakes Shopping & Leisure Complex

Editorial Design Award
Winner: Michelle Kilner, Sheffield editorial design hub
Runner-up: Kathryn Lovelock, Peterborough editorial design hub

Commercial Creative Award
Winner: Sarah O’Neill, Group Creative Services, North West
Runner-up: Peter Hammond, Midlands

Best Publishing Unit Sales Team
Winner: North East Publishing Unit
Runner-up: Media Sales Centre

Sales Team of the Year Property
Winner: North West Property Team
Runner-up: North East Publishing Unit

Sales Team of the Year Motors
Winner: North West Motors Team
Runner-up: Yorkshire

Sales Team of the Year (Local Display & Features)
Winner: North East Publishing Unit
Runner-up: South Publishing Unit

Best Sales Team for Digital Sales Growth
Winner: Yorkshire Publishing Unit
Runner-up: Dealmonster, Digital

Best Digital Sales Person
Winner: Kelly Wardley, Key Account Manager, North East
Runner-up: Rebecca Rowe, North West Digital Sales Team

Best Sales Person
Winner: Michael Rhodes,  Account Manager, South Yorkshire & Peaks
Joint runners-up: Kim Ives, Key Account Manager, Midlands & Bethany McKay, Key Account Manager, Midlands

Best Sales Manager
Winner: Julia Vethakkan, Advertising Manager, Midlands
Runner-up: Joanne Gardner, North West Property Manager

Best Sales Newcomer
Winner: Duncan Liddle, Media Sales Consultant, Yorkshire
Runner-up: Chris Quinn, Southern Recruitment  Area Manager, Digital

Best Sales Support Person
Winner: Anne-Marie McGuigan, North West Customer Support
Runner-up: Ben Brierley, Senior Customer Support Executive, Midlands

Best Sales Agent (Media Sales Centre)
Winner: Tracey Fleming
Runner-up: Michael Eccles

Best Sales Team Leader (Media Sales Centre)
Winner: Janice McKewan, Scotland
Runner-up: Rebecca Harris

Best Recruitment Sales Agent (Media Sales Centre)
Winner: Roisin Kelly

Newspapers Sales Team of the Year Daily
Winner: News Letter, Ireland
Runner-up:  Yorkshire Publishing Unit

Newspapers Sales Team of the Year Weekly
Winner: North East Newspaper Sales Team
Runner-up – North West Newspaper Sales Team

Newspapers Sales Subscriptions Team of the Year Daily
Winner: Yorkshire Publishing Unit
Runner-up: South Publishing Unit

Newspapers Sales Subscriptions Team of the Year Weekly
Winner: South Publishing Unit
Runner-up: Yorkshire Publishing Unit

Innovation in Newspaper Sales
Winner: Susan Tyler-Stringer & Claire Wardle, Yorkshire Publishing Unit
Runner-up: North East Newspaper Sales Team

Newspaper Sales Customer Service/Retention Award
Winner: Sarah Hill, Yorkshire Publishing Unit
Runner-up: Letitia Holder, South Publishing Unit

Data Capture Award
Winner: Catherine Grimwood, North West Business Control & Marketing Support Manager

Best Supporting Role in the Business
Winner: Rebekah Avill, Performance Manager, Media Sales Centre
Runner-up:  Debbie Mitchell, Marketing Manager/BCPM, North East Publishing Unit

Best Use of Social Media
Winner: The Star editorial team, Sheffield
Runner-up: Northampton Chronicle & Echo

Best Use of Digital Platforms
Winner: joint entry Digital Product Team & The Scotsman/Edinburgh Evening News
Runner-up – Whitby Gazette

Innovation Award
Winner: Bourne Local
Runner-up: The Star, Sheffield

Community Initiative Award
Winner: The News, Portsmouth, Highbury College Classroom in the News
Runner-up – Isle of Man Newspapers, Awards for Excellence

Chief Executive Award (five winners)
Colin Winkles, Portsmouth Web
Nicholas Carte,  Group IT
Jackie Smith, North East & Yorkshire
Joanne Broughton, North West
Charlotte Whitehill, Midlands


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  • March 10, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    These so-called awards are just a pathetic attempted by Highfield & Co (formally JP) to distract criticism of the bigger picture.

    The upset and uncertainty that is going on in newsrooms throughout this company is staggering.

    ‘Let’s all have an idiotic, insensitive and completely pointless competition so we can pretend that everything is honkey-dorey in JP land’. It doesn’t wash!

    What about all of us being laid off in a couple of weeks Ashley? Weren’t we worth anything? Where’s my gong?

    They should have just handed out the P45s with the awards.

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  • March 10, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Showbeastie, I feel your pain. But hey, don’t worry… as an ex-JP-er I can assure you there are jobs out there, much better employers, bosses who care and people to help you stand tall. Forget this miserable excuse for a company, you don’t need their back-slapping nonsense. Grab your VR and turn your face to the sun.

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  • March 10, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    Presumably there will be no photographer of the year categories next year?

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  • March 11, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Northern Snapper is right, however I believe some of the JP dailies still have staffers. The provincial readers don’t appreciate good pictures apparently! In house awards are ridiculous. Merely a way of management patting themselves on the back and thinking some awards doo will make everything look rosey.

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  • March 11, 2014 at 8:45 am

    In agreement with Del Boy and Showbeastie. I believe these awards were held at Oulton Hall, near Leeds. Not cheap, but so long as those invited enjoyed the “sense of fun and accomplishment”, we’ll forget about the real state of the company. What a waste of money and an insult to those about to lose their jobs, as well as to those who have previously. As has been mentioned, will there be a Photographer of the Year award next year? There couldn’t have been much competition for the Commercial Creative Award this year, (unless entries from India were allowed!) All JP seems to be about these days is positive spin via tweeting and social media, whilst the products look worse and worse.

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  • March 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    It’s mad to think over half of those named will be out of work by this time next year. Still, share price is steady at 26p.

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  • March 11, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    I’ve just had an idea.
    If I was some big shot businessman couldn’t I use all these failing British newspapers to offset my tax liability?
    Suppose I was employing hundreds of people (journalists) and thus promoting democracy with titles that in many cases hardly bring any return for my investment.
    Wouldn’t there be some kind of EU funding allowing me to bring migrant workers into the UK from eastern Europe to work on my sugar beet farm for minimum wages?
    My potentially large tax liability from the farm could be reduced substantially because of all these lame duck newspapers I carry in the interests of free expression.
    Surely this method of tax reduction could be repeated with radio and television.

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