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Dailies’ editorships merge again as news chief leaves publisher

Samantha HarmanThe editorships of two regional dailies are to merge for a second time after the departure of one of the titles’ editors.

Newsquest has announced Swindon Advertiser editor Pete Gavan will now add the Oxford Mail to his portfolio in his new role as regional group editor for Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.

Pete’s promotion comes as it was revealed Mail editor Samantha Harman will leave her role after two years to oversee the MA journalism course at Oxford Brookes University.

Newsquest previously merged the two roles in 2015, with then-Advertiser editor Gary Lawrence adding the Mail to his portfolio following the departure of Simon O’Neill.

The posts were later split again after Gary left the company in 2017.

Samantha, pictured, will leave the Mail on 30 October, with Pete taking up his new role on 2 November.

She will continue to edit Newsquest’s Living Oxfordshire magazine after her departure from the Mail.

Newsquest editorial director Toby Granville posted on Twitter: “Very sad to see Sam Harman go as she’s done an outstanding job at the Oxford Mail and been a fantastic ambassador for Newsquest and the industry in general.

“I’m sure she’s going to achieve great things at Oxford Brookes developing the next generation of journalists.”

Samantha began her career on the Dorset Echo and later moved to become group editor for Newsquest Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, prior to taking on her current role.