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Long-serving editor leaves publisher ‘by mutual consent’ as another quits to go travelling

Franki Berry newTwo weekly editors have left their roles in the latest departures from the former Archant group following its takeover by Newsquest.

Matt Adams, long-serving  editor of the Herts Advertiser and group editor for Herts, has left the businesss “by mutual agreement” after 13 years in charge of the title.

In a separate development, Franki Berry has announced she has left her role as editor of Newsquest’s East London weeklies after 19 months to move to the Alps.

Franki, pictured, was responsible for former Archant titles the Romford Recorder, Ilford Recorder, Newham Recorder, Barking & Dagenham Post and East London Advertiser.

Matt, who employed Franki as a reporter in 2017, is not being replaced and Newsquest’s Herts titles will continue to be overseen by Michael Adkins alongside those in South Essex.

Simon Murfitt, who joined Newsquest as editor for its North London office in March this year, has taken over Franki’s role as editor of the East London titles.

Announcing her departure on Twitter, Franki wrote: “Some sad news. In November, I left my role editing Newsquest’s East London papers.

“Apologies this announcement is a bit belated, I’ve been very busy moving to the Alps.”

She added: “I also cannot speak highly enough of the team over at Archant, now Newsquest.

“Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of working with the most supportive, talented and lovely people who have made me the journalist I am, and it was very hard to leave.”

Franki began her career at the Saffron Walden Reporter and Dunmow Broadcast in 2016 after studying for her NCTJ qualifications at Lambeth College before teaming up with Matt at the Herts Advertiser the following year.

She qualified as a senior journalist in 2018 and the following year moved to become a digital reporter with Travel Trade Gazette, a trade magazine for travel agents, before returning to Archant in 2020.

Franki then served as chief reporter on Archant’s titles in North London – the Islington Gazette, Hackney Gazette, Brent and Kilburn Times and Ham & High – before being appointed to her most recent role last year.

Matt had edited the Herts Advertiser since 2009 – only the 13th editor in the title’s 166-year history – having previously been acting editor of the Essex Chronicle, then part of the Northcliffe Group and now part of Reach plc.

A Newsquest spokesman said: “Franki Berry has left the business to go travelling. London senior editor Simon Murfitt has taken on Franki’s responsibilities as editor of the East London titles.

“He will be supported in the day to day running of the newspapers and websites by digital editor Immy Share, head of print Sophie Cox, digital content editor Robert Collins and the wider London team.

“Separately, Matt Adams left his role as Group Editor for Herts on November 30th by mutual agreement.

“We wish him and Franki all the best in their future endeavours.”