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Axed editor goes head to head against old employer with new launch

Paul Jones 2022An editor made redundant last month has joined an independent publisher as it prepares to launch two new titles in competition with his former employers.

Blackmore Vale Ltd has announced the appointment of Paul Jones as editor-in-chief ahead of the planned launch of the Salisbury & Avon Gazette.

The Gazette joins The New Blackmore Vale, The New Stour & Avon and the Purbeck Gazette in the firm’s stable, while another magazine is set to launch in Somerset in the coming months.

Paul’s appointment comes after he was made redundant from his role group editor of Archant’s South-West portfolio in August, just 10 months into the job, following the takeover of the publisher by Newsquest.

In Wiltshire, the Salisbury & Avon Gazette will compete with Newsquest’s existing weekly the Salisbury Journal.

Paul, 43, will manage the editorial output of the current titles run by Blackmore Vale Ltd, launched in September 2020 by publisher and Wiltshire businessman Lloyd Armishaw, as well as oversee the forthcoming additions to its portfolio.

Paul, pictured, said: “I’m delighted to be joining The Blackmore Vale Ltd. The Armishaw family has shown real ambition and a belief in local journalism, and it is refreshing to be joining a fast-growing company focussed on providing relevant, local news for the communities it serves.

“Launching a new title is hugely exciting and our plans don’t stop there. I can’t wait to get started.”

Miranda Robertson and Karen Bate, who were The New Blackmore Vale’s editor and news editor respectively, resigned from their posts to launch The West Dorset Magazine at the start of this year.

Mr Armishaw subsequently confirmed he was considering either acquiring or launching new titles in Wiltshire, Somerset and Devon following the completion of a deal for the Purbeck Gazette.

The Gazette has now started publishing fortnightly, having previously been a monthly magazine.

Mr Armishaw said: “We are delighted Paul has joined our large, dedicated team as we continue to grow.

“These are exciting times as we continue our expansion. Somerset and Salisbury are areas we know will appreciate community-focused, independent publications.

“And we are also keen to hear from any talented journalists and salespeople out there who want to help us provide the news and advertising solutions people need as we continue to expand – so do get in touch.”