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Axed editor takes on former titles with new website launch

John Elworthy 2022A veteran editor who was axed following a company takeover has bounced back by launching a new website in competition with his former titles.

As reported on HTFP two weeks ago, John Elworthy left his role as editor of the Cambs Times, Ely Standard and Wisbech Standard amid a restructure which saw his role combined with that of a neighbouring weekly editor.

The move followed the takeover of Archant, which published the three titles, by regional press giant Newsquest.

Newsquest had previously decided to cease print publication of the Times and Wisbech Standard and make them digital only products.

Now John, who had edited the Cambs Times since 2008, has launched a new online news platform,, which will compete directly with his old titles for stories.

In a first-person piece introducing the new site, he revealed he made the decision to launch within 48 hours of his departure from his previous role.

Wrote John, pictured: “I had to get used to being quasi retired (or if you prefer made redundant) by Newsquest who seemingly couldn’t get me out of the door fast enough.

“The way they achieved it will amuse me for years to come. But, and thanks to their haste in making me redundant after 20 years with Archant, I had some spare cash.

“It took 48 hours from being axed by Newsquest, the decision was made. I wasn’t ready to leave the stage.”

John has launched CambsNews together with photographer Terry Harris.

The site, which went live yesterday, aims to offer what it describes as “responsible and well researched news about every day life in Cambridgeshire.”

It states:  “Cambsnews will lead the way in coverage of all the major issues of the moment – politics, planning, housing, climate, environment and transport.

“We are independent of any major publisher and our aim is to offer a refreshing, and compelling, view of Cambridgeshire.

“We take a back to basics approach in responsible local journalism, and key to our success will be holding those responsible for major decisions to account.”

John admitted that as yet he has no firm business plan for the new venture.

He wrote: “I have absolutely no idea how to monetise it, or even if we ever want to. I simply want to do what I’ve done and to write about Cambridgeshire. And that’s what I’m going to do.”

The recent restructure saw the editorship of John’s former titles in Cambridgeshire combined with that of the Hunts Post under its existing editor, Debbie Davies.

Newsquest has so far not responded to John’s comments.