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Editorial chief who helped launch city news site leaves industry

Samantha GildeaAn editorial chief who has been with a city news website since its launch has left the industry to join the university where she studied.

Samantha Gildea has announced her departure from Leeds Live, which was launched by Reach plc in 2017, to take up a content editor and writer role with the University of Leeds.

Samantha, pictured, studied politics at the university from 2006 to 2009 before beginning her journalism career, working for the Batley and Birstall News and later the Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

She has held roles including audience build editor, content editor and search engine optimisation content editor at Leeds Live, also helping to oversee the launch of Reach’s Yorkshire Live online brand.

Announcing her departure on Twitter, Samantha thanked colleagues including Reach’s interim audience and content director audience growth Ed Walker, Examiner and Yorkshire Live editor Wayne Ankers and Jenna Thompson, senior customer editor for the North-East and Yorkshire.

She wrote: “In an emotional move, I have left Reach and bid a fond farewell to the Examiner, Yorkshire Live and Leeds Live.

“I’ve had the privilege of working with some amazing and inspiring people and have had many brilliant experiences – I’m so proud of all we’ve achieved.

“From starting out at the Examiner before launching Leeds Live from scratch and then expanding to Yorkshire Live I’ve learned so much and it’s been an honour to be part of its success – which I know will continue.

“I also got to spend a year relaunching sites and training brilliant teams – thanks Ed Walker – fuelled by Premier Inn breakfasts and far too much time on the M1.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with dedicated, passionate journos for eight years, and I need to thank Wayne Ankers and Jenna Thompson for their endless support. There are lots of special people but too many to list them all, hopefully you know who you are.

“Now begins a new chapter and a new challenge at the University of Leeds – I left in 2009 as a graduate and now I’m thrilled to return 13 years on as a content editor and writer.”