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Publisher moves swiftly to replace editor poached by rival

Sophie Barley 2022A regional publisher has moved swiftly to replace an editor poached by a rival title.

Reach plc has unveiled Sophie Barley as the new editor of its Newcastle-based Chronicle Live brand just 24 hours after it was revealed her predecessor Gavin Foster was leaving the company to take charge of Newsquest daily the Northern Echo.

Sophie, pictured, is currently Reach’s regional head of audience for the North-East of England in a role that has seen her lead the launch and development of social media brands and platforms Northumberland Live to Darlington Live.

Reach has also revealed its North-East business editor Graeme Whitfield will take on brand editor responsibility for Newcastle-based daily The Journal as part of a restructure of its operations in the region.

Helen Dalby, Reach’s audience and content director for the North East and Yorkshire, said: “I’m delighted to announce these important leadership roles for our iconic Newcastle brands of ChronicleLive and The Journal.

“Sophie and Graeme bring verve, tenacity and a wealth of digital publishing prowess and editorial management experience to their new roles. They are passionate ambassadors for the North East and have made a huge contribution to the growth and development of these brands over many years.

“Together with newly appointed Newcastle United editor Aaron Stokes, who takes up his post next month, this talented and experienced leadership team represents an exciting new era for ChronicleLive and The Journal at an important time for the city of Newcastle and wider North East region.”

Sophie has 12 years of experience writing and content editing for Reach in the North-East, while Graeme has spent seven years in his current post.

He will continue to be closely involved in Reach’s regional Business Live operation in his new post.