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News chief takes on axed editor’s former titles in expanded role

Tim LEthaby newAn editorial chief has added seven newspapers to his portfolio in an expanded role after their previous editor was made redundant.

Tim Lethaby has been appointed Newsquest’s regional editor for the South-West region, taking responsibility for five former Archant weeklies in Devon and two in Somerset as a result.

The move comes after Paul Jones, who was group editor of the Archant’s South-West portfolio, was made redundant in August following the group’s takeover by Newsquest earlier this year.

Tim, pictured, joined Newsquest in November last year to oversee the group’s Somerset titles the Somerset County Gazette, Bridgwater Mercury, Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News and Chard and Ilminster News.

In his expanded role, Tim takes overall charge of Paul’s former Archant titles the Weston Mercury, Northern Somerset Times, Sidmouth Herald, Exmouth Journal, Midweek Herald, Budleigh Journal and Ottery Herald.

In a piece introducing himself to Mercury readers, Tim said: “I am delighted to be take on this new adventure with some of the most well-known news titles in the South West.

“I am relishing the prospect of leading these great regional news brands. The opportunity to further develop the titles’ digital offering through quality local content is incredibly exciting.

“As someone who is Somerset born and bred, the opportunity to take the reins at titles that I have always held in high regard was not one I could ignore, and I am looking forward to working with what is clearly an incredibly talented team.

“Of course, at the heart of these titles are the readers and I would love to hear from everyone about what they like, and don’t like, so it will help me shape the publications and their websites moving forward.

“I will also soon be organising some Meet the Editor sessions in local cafes and coffee shops to chat to the readers in person about what the community feels are the main issues that we need to focus on.”

Since his departure from Newsquest, Paul has landed a job as editor-in-chief of Blackmore Vale Ltd.

The independent publisher runs The New Blackmore Vale, The New Stour & Avon and the Purbeck Gazette, as well as forthcoming launch the Salisbury & Avon Gazette.