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Three more departures confirmed at daily as new editor takes reins

The deputy editor of a regional daily is among five staff now confirmed to have left the newspaper following a restructure which also saw its editor depart.

The Midland News Association has announced that Diane Davies has left Wolverhampton daily the Express & Star, along with its Weekend supplement deputy editor Lisa Harrison and editor’s secretary Karen Baker.

HTFP has previously reported that editor Keith Harrison was stepping down after five years in charge and 25 years at the Wolverhampton-based title.

Business editor Simon Penfold also left the E&S after 24 years on Friday, and the MNA has now confirmed the departures of Diane, Lisa and Karen in a piece on its website.

Last goodbyes: From left, Simon Penfold, Keith Harrison, Lisa Harrison, Diane Davies and Karen Baker

Final farewells: From left, Simon Penfold, Keith Harrison, Lisa Harrison, Diane Davies and Karen Baker


At the time that Keith’s departure was announced, the MNA refused to comment on whether Diane and Simon would also be leaving the newspaper, following enquiries by HTFP.

Simon’s departure was later confirmed by the company, but Diane’s has only been officially announced today.

The MNA has also announced that former Shropshire Star deputy editor Mark Drew will become deputy editor for the group, while John Corser will take over from Simon on the business desk.

As previously reported, Shropshire Star editor Martin Wright has been appointed to the role of editor of the Express & Star and edior-in-chief of the Midland News Association as a result of Keith’s departure.

Martin said: “I’m looking forward to starting my new role, shaping the editorial content for the MNA.

“I have spoken to editorial staff in a series of meetings and one-to-one discussions and I am relishing the opportunity of working with such a talented team of journalists.

“The Express & Star and Shropshire Star have a superb heritage for reporting on local life and leading the way in making a positive difference in the communities we serve. I want to build on our reputation as the leading newspaper brands in our areas.”

He added: “The five colleagues who departed last week leave with our best wishes for the future.”


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  • December 4, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    I wonder how many of the staff being laid off recently( not necessarily here) felt themselves above the axe whilst colleagues departed during various reviews, restructures,culls and cutbacks?
    I know of one group who’ve just served notice to a number of journalists, some long serving, who must have felt the spotlight had long since passed them by only to find out they’re soon to become statistics on yet another end of year cost saving plan.
    Just goes to show no ones really safe and no ones immune to the chop once those above have no further use for them.

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  • December 4, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    Sad to see the local newspaper industry collapsing, as much through ‘losing’ very experienced staff, the kind of knowledge most businesses try to keep.
    Management have made so many wrong turns over the years, acting like lemmings with no original thinking (yet remain astonishingly well paid compared to other business leaders).
    The story of the British local paper business is like the demise of British Leyland all over again.
    All media have had to cope with the disruptive coming of the internet, but look at TV and radio, being attacked by streaming and podcasts, yet their management has steered through the troubled waters and to maintain a successful place in the world.

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