AddThis SmartLayers

Editor of two dailies leaves regional publisher after 28 years

Gary Lawrence 1The editor of two sister dailies has left after 28 years of service with regional publisher Newsquest.

Gary Lawrence, left, who is responsible for both the Oxford Mail and Swindon Advertiser in his role as regional editor for Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, works his last day for the company today.

Gary has been in charge of the Advertiser since 2011, and added the Mail to his portfolio in 2015 following a restructure which saw its editor Simon O’Neill leave Newsquest.

His is the latest in a number of high-profile editorial departures from Newsquest over the past year which has also seen the likes of Ian Murray (Southern Daily Echo), Kevin Ward (South Wales Argus) and Perry Austin-Clarke (Bradford Telegraph and Argus) move on.

There has been no announcement about who will succeed Gary, who also oversaw a number of weekly titles across the two counties, but it is understood Mail managing editor Sara Taylor will take interim charge in Oxford while Advertiser deputy editor Michelle Tompkins will do the same in Swindon.

Staff were officially told on Tuesday about his departure in an internal memo from Chris Moore, Newsquest managing director for Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.

The memo, which has been seen by HTFP, states: “Gary Lawrence, regional editor for Oxfordshire and Wiltshire will leave the company on 31 August 2017 after 28 years of service.

“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Gary for his contribution to the company and I hope you will join me in wishing Gary every success in the future.”

Gary began his career as a reporter on the Bucks Advertiser in 1986 before moving to become chief reporter at the Bucks Free Press three years later.

He was promoted to news editor of the Free Press, which is now owned by Newsquest, in 1991, before leaving to become deputy editor of the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald two years later.

He moved again in 1995 to edit the Wiltshire Times, where he stayed for four years before returning to take the top job at the Devizes-based Gazette & Herald.

His portfolio was expanded in 2010 to include the Trowbridge-based Times, and again a year later to include the Advertiser.

After Simon’s departure from the Mail, he also took on Oxfordshire weeklies including the Oxford Times, the Herald series, Witney Gazette, Bicester Advertiser and Banbury Cake.

Newsquest has declined to comment further on Gary’s departure.


You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • August 31, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Stock soulless reply from Moore which doesn’t even put any individuality in the statement just using the ‘ fill in name of departing editor here’ template

    Sums up just how little editors are valued in these days of weak content,reader supplied copy and camera phone imagery and a ‘ that’ll do ‘ mentality across the industry and with all the real editors ( I mean real editors who had power, not nodding donkeys) long since left.
    But when quality is no longer of importance then an editors role isn’t either

    Not a good time if you’ve ‘editor’ in your job title

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(27)
  • August 31, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Correct @archantlifer
    A temporary safety at least until the next get rich quick scheme is unfolded, all the yes men applaud it through and they suddenly realise digital content is readily available and for free but which isn’t a serious money maker so they’ll have no further use for them

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(10)
  • August 31, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Just looking at my editorless (ie has an editor in chief) JP weekly this week. Stories from way off patch, Pathetically weak page one and page three leads, incomplete stories just begging for a comment or explanation and the sadly obligatory begging bowl plea :”Have you got a story for us? Plus sports pages that are a mess with basic errors and unedited sent-in reports.Does anyone care or is it that there are simply not enough people to do the job properly?
    Bring back proper editors instead of getting rid of them. Now there’s a dream.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(24)
  • August 31, 2017 at 10:55 am

    . His phone is already ringing I bet with offers.
    Like it did for most of . It was great time working for Gary at Wilts Times and Wilts Gazette group..

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(3)
  • August 31, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    Journalists slagging off newspapers for being full of errors is a shame. Everybody agrees it doesn’t look good but we all know what newsrooms are like these days. There are fewer people these days with more to do. JP has been going down the toilet for a decade and taking its papers with it. Nobody wants that less than its reporters.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(16)