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Sister dailies regain dedicated editors after eight years

Two regional dailies have regained their own dedicated editors for the first time in eight years.

Both the Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail have unveiled new editors as part of JPIMedia’s decentralisation policy under new owner National World of making editors responsible for individual regional titles.

Ross Robertson has taken over at the Gazette, while Gavin Ledwith is now editor at the Mail.

Joy Yates, who remains editor of the Sunderland Echo, has previously edited all three of the group’s North-East titles.

Ross Robertson, left, and Gavin Ledwith

Ross Robertson, left, and Gavin Ledwith

South Shields native Ross has most recently served as a specialist editor for JPIMedia in the North-East of England, working on the Gazette, Mail, Sunderland Echo and Northumberland Gazette.

Gavin has worked for the company for 20 years across two spells and has previously served as the Mail’s deputy news editor, news editor and assistant editor.

Speaking to HTFP about his new role, Ross said: “South Tyneside is a great place to live and work. We’ve got a stunning coastline, beautiful nature spots, and an amazing history – all of which deserve to be shouted about.

“But more importantly, we’ve got some great people. Those who do great work in the community, fantastic charities helping others when they need it, and so many great independent businesses, as well as impressive big employers.

“My priority for the Gazette has been to big up the patch and support businesses, groups and the community as we begin to recover from the pandemic.

“Of course, we also need to shine a spotlight on problems facing our area, ask the difficult questions and hold those in power to account, playing our part in local democracy, and looking to what the future holds for South Tyneside’s towns and villages.”

The appointment of the pair brings the number of new editor appointments made by JPIMedia since its takeover by National World to almost 40.

The Mail and Gazette last had their own dedicated editors in 2013, when the editorships were merged in a reshuffle by JPIMedia forerunner Johnston Press.

Ross started his career in regional journalism as an ad features writer split between the Echo and the Shields Gazette, later serving as political reporter and digital editor on the former.

HTFP has also approached Gavin for a comment on his appointment.