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Editor of six weeklies quits to take up new science role

bede-macgowanThe editor of six weekly newspapers is leaving the regional press after almost 15 years in the industry.

Bede MacGowan, left, will finish at Mid Somerset News & Media next month to take up a new role as online editor with Select Science, a global online publisher working with scientists and manufacturers across the world to “make the future healthier”.

Bede has worked in Somerset since April 2013, where he is currently responsible for Trinity Mirror-owned weeklies the Wells Journal, Central Somerset Gazette, Shepton Mallet Journal, Cheddar Valley Gazette, Frome Standard and Somerset Guardian.

Prior to that, he spent four years as editor of the Llanelli Star.

Said Bede: “During my time in Wells I had the huge privilege to lead a brilliant team into and through a period of great change and opportunity, exciting yet equally challenging. We redesigned, modernised and breathed new life into the Wells Journal, Shepton Mallet Journal, Central Somerset Gazette and Cheddar Valley Gazette.

“We’ve launched the hugely successful Next Generation Somerset and We Believe in Somerset campaigns, produced some superb special editions and learned a vast array of new skills in areas such as social media, SEO and video.

“Through all of this, I have been surrounded by a fantastic team of people who have shown incredible resilience, ability and attitude, not to mention a great sense of humour. It is saying goodbye to them which will be the hardest thing as I move in a new direction with my own career.”

Bede began his career with a year-and-a-half spent as a trainee reporter on the Yeovil-based Western Gazette, which he joined in 2002 after completing his journalism course at Highbury College, Portsmouth.

He then spent two years at the News Shopper in South-East London, before moving to Swansea-based daily the South Wales Evening Post as a senior reporter.

Bede became district news editor in 2008, before taking on the Star a year later.

Mike Norton, Trinity Mirror regional editorial director for Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset, will inform staff of “future plans” when he returns from holiday next week.

Mike said: “I would like to thank Bede for his contribution to the Somerset business and wish him well in his new career.”

Bede will leave the company on 15 November.

Sarah Pullen, the region’s managing director, said: “Bede has been very committed to the Somerset business from both a content and commercial perspective. I know that his team and colleagues will miss him and I wish him all the very best in his new venture.”


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  • October 31, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Good luck to Bede on his move from regional weeklies to online publications.
    With the increase in ‘curators’ and ‘content managers’ ,editorships are rapidly becoming museum piece roles so he’s right to look to the future now, and moving to an industry and sector with a future.
    Majority of editors i speak to are hanging on in as long as they can seeing out their time or until the inevitable call comes and with it a half decent pay off, it’s no longer a young mans role or a position for anyone with real ambition anymore.
    Best wishes to Bede and others thinking of their own careers and futures.

    Also good luck to those who’ll be hearing of the companies ” future plans” when the regional editorial director returns from holiday next week.lets hope it’s all positive stuff

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  • October 31, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Getting blood out of a stone for years will serve him well. Good luck.

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