Trinity Mirror has announced that Western Daily Press editor Rob Stokes, left, will depart as part of a revamp of former Local World titles in the South-West of England, along with Lynne Fernquest, editor of the daily-turned-weekly Bath Chronicle.
Rob will leave the WDP on 20 May while Lynne’s last day will be this Friday.
Their departures bring to six the number of ex-Local World editors to leave the business in the current round of restructures.
Paul Brackley, of the Cambridge News, the Leicester Mercury’s Kevin Booth and Dave Atkin of the Scunthorpe Telegraph have all left in the past month, while Neil White of the Derby Telegraph is due to leave on 24 June.
As reported on HTFP last month, TM plans to cut around 14 editorial roles in its Bristol, Gloucester, Somerset and Dorset (BGSD) region in a plan which will also see the websites of 13 local newspapers merged into three.
As part of that proposal, the WDP’s site will be incorporated into that of the Bristol Post, where Rob spent 25 years before taking up his present role in February 2015.
Rob served as the Post’s investigations’ editor, news editor, assistant editor and deputy editor after beginning his career as a trainee reporter on the Weston Mercury.
Said Rob: “I’ve been here in Bristol almost 26 years and I have been lucky enough to have a variety of different roles. My time with the Western Daily Press has been the most challenging and rewarding of my years in newspapers.
“As everyone says when they leave, it is the people, especially those on the Western Daily Press, I will miss the most. I wish them all well.”
Lynne, pictured left, took the helm at the Chronicle in 2012 after two years as editor of the Western Gazette in Yeovil.
Lynne, who will leave the Chronicle on Friday, said: “I have had the most rewarding career with Northcliffe Regional Newspapers, Local World and Trinity Mirror Regionals and benefitted from working with many extremely talented people.
“I have been a journalist for 30 years and although saying farewell to that part of my life will be tinged with sadness, I am very excited about what the future has in store.
“There are so many people who I would like to thank for their encouragement and support, from my early days as a trainee reporter to the last six years as an editor…the best job in the world.
“I am particularly grateful for the opportunity I was given to move from South Wales to Yeovil and then to Bath and I look forward to seeing Trinity Mirror Regionals – and BGSD in particular – go from strength to strength.”
Mike Norton, Trinity Mirror editor-in-chief for Bristol, Gloucester, Somerset and Dorset, said: “I would like to thank Lynne for her hard work and commitment over the years and wish her all the best for the future.”
He added: “I would like to thank Rob his hard work and commitment. He has helped to improve and stabilise and circulation performance of the Western Daily Press and made great headway with its digital performance.