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Long-serving JPI editor bounces back in new Newsquest role


A long-serving regional editor whose role with JPIMedia recently came to an end is making a swift return to the industry as an acting editor with Newsquest.

Joy Yates, left, is joining the regional publisher as one of two acting editors at its Cumbria titles while current regional editor Vanessa Sims is on maternity leave.

Until recently Joy was a regional editorial director with JPIMedia, overseeing its North-East dailies the Sunderland Echo, Hartlepool Mail and Shields Gazette.

Her role ceased to exist in a restructure in December 2021 which also saw the departure of the company’s North West editorial director Gillian Gray.

Joy is joining Newsquest next Monday to take charge of its North Cumbria titles including Carlisle-based daily the News & Star, the Cumberland News, Whitehaven News and Times & Star.

Tom Murphy, who is currently audience & content editor for Newsquest Cumbria will be acting editor for South Cumbria, with responsiblity for Barrow daily The Mail, The Westmorland Gazette and The Hexham Courant.

Said Joy: “I’m delighted to be joining the North Cumbria team in this interim role. The brands are a hugely important part of the fabric of the communities they serve.

“I am really looking forward to working with the dedicated and talented teams behind the digital and print products in such a beautiful part of the country.”

tom murphy picAdded Tom, left: “I’m a born and bred Cumbrian and joined The Westmorland Gazette as a trainee reporter in 2013. It’s a real honour to be given the opportunity to hold the fort, alongside Joy, while Vanessa enjoys some much-deserved time off with her new bundles of joy.

“We have a very dedicated team in Cumbria from the reporters to the advertising reps and those who work hard behind the scenes to bring all of our great products to our readers. I’m looking forward to working with them all over the next six months.”

David Coates, regional managing director of Newsquest (North) said: “It is great that Joy is coming to North Cumbria to cover Vanessa’s maternity leave. She joins the team at an exciting time as we’re about to move into our new office accommodation in the centre of Carlisle.

“I know that Joy is looking forward to working with Tom who is stepping up in South Cumbria to support the team there, and I’m sure they’re both going to shine in these acting editor roles.”

Joy edited the Hartlepool Mail from 2006 and added her hometown newspaper the Shields Gazette, which she first joined in 1988, to her portfolio in 2013.

She was given overall responsibility for the Sunderland Echo the following year and has also served as editorial director for JPIMedia’s Scottish titles.