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Three more weeklies regain own editors in ‘localisation’ drive

Three more local newspapers have regained their own editors for the first time in a number of years following a series of new appointments.

Further changes have been made by JPIMedia in the publisher’s drive to localise the management of its titles, bringing the total number of new editors unveiled by the company since its takeover by National World to ten.

The latest editors to be appointed in the restructure are Jane Clare at the Chorley Guardian, Phil Bramley at the Derbyshire Times and Chris Lever at the Halifax Courier.

Phil previously ran the Chesterfield-based Times prior to a 2019 restructure which saw him take up the post of head of audience across JPIMedia’s North Midlands and South Yorkshire division.

From left: Jane Clare, Chris Lever and Phil Bramley

From left: Jane Clare, Chris Lever and Phil Bramley

Chris has previously held roles including deputy editor and news editor at the Courier, which has not had its own dedicated editor since John Kenealy took early retirement in 2018.

He will also be responsible for the Brighouse Echo and Hebden Bridge Times & Todmorden News in his new role.

Posting on Twitter on Friday, Chris said: “Eventful week. Got my Covid jab on Wednesday and now delighted to announce my new role as Halifax Courier editor. Prouder than proud.”

Jane takes over at the Guardian after Nicola Adam moved to become editor at Blackpool daily The Gazette.

Up to her appointment, Jane was previously commercial editor for the JPIMedia titles in the North-west.

Prior to that, she was once deputy editor of the Lancashire Evening Post before leaving to take up a regional training and development role at Trinity Mirror titles in the North-West, where she was a mentor for university media students and also supported the NCTJ in its assessments.

Jane has previously been an executive editor of The Gazette, in Blackpool, editor of the Wirral News, and regional production editor of the TM titles in the North-West.

Posting on Twitter last Monday, she said: “I’m excited to announce that today I’ve started a new role as editor of the Chorley Guardian. I’m looking forward to it.”

Nicola was also responsible for JPIMedia weeklies the Lytham St Annes Express, Fleetwood Weekly News, Garstang Courier and Longridge News in her previous group editor role, although the company has not yet been able to confirm who would be taking charge of Nicola’s other old titles.

JPIMedia has also appointed new editors at The Scotsman, Sheffield Telegraph, Mansfield Chad, Buxton Advertiser, Doncaster Free Press and Worksop Guardian since National World took control of the company.

Shortly after the National World takeover on New Year’s Eve, executive chairman David Montgomery vowed to decentralise the company and replace what he termed “irrelevant or clickbait stories” with exclusive local content across its titles.

He said: “Quite simply JPI is to be restored as a local publishing business, locally managed with clear plans to grow the business by implementing a modern operating model.

“We have commenced the process of decentralising the company and will devolve responsibility to the talented commercial and editorial managers who live and work in the cities, towns and the regions where our products circulate.

“Our publications will be enhanced with unique local content to provide advertisers with the best environment to promote their services.”