Samantha Harman, left, has been appointed group editor for Newsquest Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, which will see her oversee the Bracknell News, for which she has previously worked on a freelance basis, as well as the Reading Chronicle, Bucks Free Press and Slough Observer.
She has worked at the Dorset Echo for the past five-and-a-half years, and has served as its deputy editor since September 2015.
Samantha replaces Dave King, now editor of Rotary magazine, who served as Newsquest Berkshire editor-in-chief for nine months from March last year.
She is the fourth editor-in-chief since Newsquest purchased the Berkshire titles in the spring of 2015, following in the footsteps of Lesley Potter, Tim Cole and Dave.
Her new role also encompasses the Bucks Free Press, which was previously grouped with Newsquest’s North London titles.
Said Samantha: “This is a fantastic opportunity and I can’t wait to get stuck in. I am looking forward to working with the talented teams at Newsquest Berkshire and Buckinghamshire as we drive digital growth, produce quality print products and continually strive for excellence.
“We aim to be the best source of local news, the number one stop for everything Berkshire and Buckinghamshire; campaigning titles at the heart of their local communities.”
Samantha, who takes up her new role on Monday 6 March, began her journalism career at BBC Radio Kent, where she worked as a reporter between June 2010 and July 2011.
After two months freelancing in Bracknell, she joined the Echo as a trainee in October 2011 and worked her way up to become a senior and chief reporter before taking the deputy editor’s job.
During her time with the company, Samantha has been named Newsquest Journalist of the Year, Dorset Journalist of the Year and has been shortlisted for a number of other awards including the Society of Editors Young Journalist of the Year and the EDF Media Awards.
Newsquest Buckinghamshire and Berkshire managing director Chris Moore said: “Samantha was an excellent candidate for this role and brings with her the skills, experience and ideas to lead these titles through an exciting period of growth and innovation.”