Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror has announced a second senior editorial departure in the space of 24 hours after a regional daily editor quit for “personal reasons.”
Both the Mercury and the News were part of Local World until the company was bought by Trinity Mirror in a £220m deal last November.
Kevin took up the job of Mercury editor in September 2014 after a spell editing the Burton Mail. Earlier in his career he also edited the Peterborough Evening Telegraph and the York Evening Press.
His departure was announced to staff in Leicester today by TM’s East Midlands regional managing director David Simms.
David expressed his disappointment at the decision and hailed Kevin as a “passionate ambassador” for the paper.
He wrote: “It is with some disappointment that I write to inform you that, for personal reasons, Kevin Booth will be leaving the business on April 22nd.
“Over the past 18 months, Kevin has successfully undertaken a redesign and re-launch of the Leicester Mercury, winning Regional Newspaper of the Year 2015 – an accolade for which the paper is once again shortlisted this year. Online audience figures have also doubled under Kevin’s editorship.
“It is without doubt that Kevin has been a passionate ambassador for the business and has made huge in-roads in developing the Mercury into a multi-media publishing operation.
“We wish him all the best in the future.”
Rob, who has been editor of the MEN since 2012 and is also regional editor-in-chief for TM’s North West region, will join the paper on Monday, 18 April.
In his statement, David said he would be taking the editor’s chair on an interim basis until a replacement editor is found, with the position due to be advertised both internally and externally.
Rob oversaw the introduction of a “digital first” approach to content at the MEN in 2013 as psrt of TM’s ‘Newsroom 3.1′ project.
Since then the Manchester website has established itself as the largest regional newspaper website in the UK reaching around 600,000 unique users every day via web and app.