AddThis SmartLayers

Daily’s editor to leave publisher after 33 years amid restructure

Gillian ParkinsonA regional daily editor who has run newspapers for more than a quarter of a century is to retire following a company restructure.

Gillian Parkinson will leave the Lancashire Post at the end of March 2022 after 33 years of service to JPIMedia and its forerunner Johnston Press.

Her forthcoming retirement comes after JPIMedia unveiled a plan which will see its North-West and North-East business units merge into a single division covering the North of England.

Gillian is currently JPIMedia’s editorial director in the North-West of England, and Joy Yates, her equivalent in the North-East, will also “be ceasing her present role” as a result of the move.

However, JPIMedia has declined to reveal whether Joy will remain with the business in a new role following the restructure, or who will take charge of the Preston-based Post following Gillian’s departure.

David Montgomery, executive chairman of JPIMedia owner National World, revealed in an email to staff that the restructure will see former Halifax Courier editor Tim Robinson become editorial director for the North, in addition to retaining his central role as group managing editor.

In the memo, which has been seen by HTFP, Mr Montgomery wrote: “Gillian Parkinson, editorial director in the North West, has decided after 33 years service to retire from the business at the end of March 2022. Joy Yates, regional director in North East, will be ceasing her present role following a distinguished length of service.

“I would like to thank Gillian and Joy for the extremely valuable contribution they have made to JPI and especially during the start of the transformation of JPI over the last 12 months.

“The restructure and appointments are a continuation of the process to build a sustainable model for local publishing and a return to growth as a premium content and sales business.

“I take this opportunity to thank all our talented staff for their hard work and creativity in launching the company on a new path after a challenging few years.”

Gillian’s first editorship was at the Chorley Guardian between 1995 and 1997.

She then spent 15 years with the Wigan Evening Post before moving to the editorship in Preston, sandwiched by a seven-week stint in charge of Blackpool daily The Gazette in 2012.

Gillian later retook charge of The Gazette in 2015 after its editorship was merged with that of the Post following the departure of Jon Rhodes, but relinquished control of the Blackpool daily when the roles were split again earlier this year.

Joy edited the Hartlepool Mail from 2006 and added her hometown newspaper the Shields Gazette, which she first joined in 1988, to her portfolio in 2013.

She was given overall responsibility for the Sunderland Echo the following year.

All three titles now have their own editors as part of JPIMedia’s decentralisation policy under new owner National World of making editors responsible for individual regional titles.

Gavin Ledwith is editor the Mail, Ross Robertson has taken over at the Gazette and Gary Oliver now edits the Echo.

A number of changes have also been announced away from editorial as part of the restructure.

Stuart Mulrooney will become commercial director for the region, while former Media Scotland commercial director Mike Hartley has been appointed national commercial director.

Jade Power becomes head of digital commercial, while Craig Fisher joins the finance team as head of commercial finance.

JPIMedia has declined to comment further on the restructure.