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Senior political journalist quits big publisher to edit local weeklies

Ed Oldfield 2022A senior political journalist has left his role with a regional publisher to become editor of two sister weeklies.

Ed Oldfield has been unveiled as the new editor of Tindle titles the Wellington Weekly News and West Somerset Free Press.

Ed joins Tindle after serving as agenda editor for Reach plc in Devon and Cornwall, where he has covered politics and public affairs for titles including Cornwall Live, Devon Live and Plymouth Live.

The move marks a return for him to a patch where he worked as a reporter with the Western Daily Press in the 1990s.

Ed, pictured, said: “I am delighted to be back in Somerset and working for a family-owned company that is committed to local journalism and the communities it serves.

“There is a great team here producing well-read, successful newspapers, and the business is also firmly focused on digital growth.

“I’m looking forward to supporting those efforts across print and digital, and renewing some old acquaintances.”

Ed began his career in Plymouth in 1985 on the Western Morning News and subsequently worked for the Birmingham Daily News, London’s Camden Chronicle and The Orcadian, in the Orkney Islands, before returning to the West Country with the Mercury series, in Somerset.

From 1991 to 1993 he worked at the Western Gazette, in Yeovil, before an eight-year stint with the WDP.

Between 2001 and 2018 Ed held various senior production roles across Devon for Reach forerunners Northcliffe and Trinity Mirror, working across titles including the Exeter Express & Echo, WMN and WDP.

He was appointed social media editor at the Express & Echo in 2016 and took on the same role when Trinity Mirror launched Devon Live the following year.

Ed then spent six months in a Plymouth-based head of audience position before becoming local democracy reporter for Torbay and Plymouth in September 2018.

He took up his most recent Reach role since September last year, and two months later became briefly involved in the Downing Street party controversy due to sharing his name with an adviser to then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Downing Street Ed Oldfield was among the staff seen joking about holding a Christmas party in leaked footage obtained by ITV News, with the journalist Ed being forced to publicly clarify on Twitter he was not among those present.

At the same time he disclosed that he has a brother called Mike who spent years denying that he wrote Tubular Bells.