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Reach poaches JPIMedia editors as four senior appointments revealed

Reach plc has poached two JPIMedia editors after announcing four new senior editorial appointments across the company.

Reach has revealed it is taking on Newcastle World editor Laura Hill and JPIMedia group engagement editor Ben Green in addition to two other new hires.

Laura’s departure to become search engine optimisation editor at Reach’s Live network of regional websites comes just weeks after the launch of Newcastle World.

Ben, a former editor of the Worksop Guardian who has 16 years of journalism experience, will become Reach’s deputy head of social media and engagement.

Clockwise from top left: Laura Hill, Ben Green, Pete Gavan and Max Channon

Clockwise from top left: Laura Hill, Ben Green, Pete Gavan and Max Channon

The company’s network content editor Max Channon has also been promoted into the newly created role of overnights editor for the Live network, while Reach has also revealed Pete Gavan will become the network’s senior editor.

HTFP reported last week how Pete was leaving his current role with Newsquest, where he edited the Oxford Mail and the Swindon Advertiser, to join Reach.

Laura previously worked for Reach at Newcastle daily The Chronicle and also formed part of the Leeds Live launch team in 2017.

In the new role, she will lead on SEO growth strategy, search strategy and will “direct a team of writers on the biggest topics of the day for both local and national issues”.

Laura said: “I am looking forward to rejoining the team at Reach and excited for a new challenge.

“I can’t wait to get started and help keep readers informed with content on subjects that matter to them.”

Ben’s brief will see him support all social media activity across the Live network.

He said: “It is very exciting to be joining Reach at a time of major investment in local journalism.

“I’m relishing the opportunity of working with Reach’s network of brilliant journalists and news websites across the UK.”

Max will be responsible for the overnight newsdesk services across the Live network, including Scottish and Irish titles, and will work in conjunction with PA.

He said: “The new overnight desk is a key part of Reach’s audience growth strategy and it allows the ‘Live’ network to really live up to its name.

“Rolling out a network-wide service – covering the UK and Ireland – has allowed Reach to bring round-the-clock news to local and regional news rooms.”

Pete will work as part of the senior editorial team across the network, helping to guide daily output across the UK and “support key audience growth projects”.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to joining Reach and taking up my new position.

“It’s a new challenge and one I can’t wait to get started on.

“My passion is digital and this role will allow me to bring that to the fore with the teams across the Live network every day.”

Reach says it has filled more than 100 new roles in local newsrooms across the UK so far this year.

Ed Walker, audience and content director for the Live network, said: “We’re looking forward to having Laura, Pete and Ben start with us working across the Network team and our Live network of sites, and adding to our experienced team of editorial managers and leaders.

“Max has done sterling work helping to set up the overnight operation and now moves into the role full-time.

“The Reach network team’s expansion will continue to strengthen our position as the UK’s largest regional news publisher supporting our teams in both established and new geographies to rapidly grow our engaged audiences.”