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Deputy follows editor out of door after 11 years at weekly

Alex BlackwellA deputy editor has left the newspaper he spent 11 years with, just days after its editor’s departure was also announced.

Alex Blackwell, pictured left, bade farewell to the weekly Harborough Mail after Neil Pickford revealed he too would be moving on.

Neil, who also edited the Northants Telegraph, has taken up the role of communities content editor with Johnston Press South Midlands, of which the both titles are a part, under the company’s “newsroom of the future” initiative.

Alex, who is leaving for a new role in PR, penned a farewell comment to thank readers for their support in yesterday’s edition – his  583rd with the Mail.

He wrote: “For me, working at the Mail and writing about this beautiful town of Market Harborough – my home for the past six years – has been much more than just a job. It’s felt like a calling.

“Our loyal and passionate readers who clearly care deeply about the town have always inspired and driven me to do better.

“I would like to thanks the two editors I’ve worked for – Brian Dodds and Neil Pickford – who have both guided me over the years.

“But mainly, I would like to thank you, the readers, who have always – rightly – demanded thorough, accurate and incisive reporting while trying to shed light in dark corners.”

Chris Lillington, editor of four JP titles in Warwickshire including the Rugby Advertiser, Leamington Courier and Kenilworth Weekly News, will now take charge of the Mail.

In his own note to Mail readers, Neil added: “I am sad to be leaving my current role, but my new job includes working on many aspects of this newspaper, along with more than a dozen others in the region.

“I may nor longer be the editor, but I will still be involved, and wish my successor Chris Lillington all the best for the future.

“Thank you for your support.”


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  • April 24, 2015 at 8:25 am

    The exodus continues and let’s hope Alex enjoys his “new role in PR”, which will probably pay better and offer more reasonable working hours. At this rate who will be left in local journalism by the year’s end? I think we should be told.

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  • April 24, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I do pity anyone who leaves newspapers to go into the corporate world, it really is garbage. Journalists by nature are lone wolves and agitators, and corporate spiel doesn’t come easy.

    I have to go now, it’s my turn to chair the cup washing forum.

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  • April 25, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Jeff Jones’s comment made me laugh out loud. It’s so true. Speaking from bitter experience, the world of PR spin is dull, restrictive and unfulfilling. Good luck though, Alex.

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