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