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Daily gets own editor after four years as news chief rejoins publisher

James JohnsonA regional content chief has returned to his old employer to become a regional daily’s first dedicated editor in four years.

Newsquest has unveiled James Johnson as editor of the Bournemouth Echo after rejoining the publisher from Reach plc.

James, pictured, previously worked as audience and content editor at Newsquest’s Southern Daily Echo, in Southampton, before joining Reach in November 2021.

Since then, he has served as content editor for Plymouth Live, Cornwall Live and Devon Live.

The Echo last had its own individual editor in 2019 when Andy Martin stepped down after four years in charge.

Southern Daily Echo editor Gordon Sutter then added the Bournemouth daily to his portfolio until 2021, when he retired.

Gordon’s departure prompted an editorial shake-up at Newsquest’s south coast titles, with Weymouth-based Dorset Echo chief Diarmuid MacDonagh being promoted to regional group editor overseeing all three dailies.

James, who began his career in 2011 at the CN Group, in Carlisle, will report to Diarmuid in his new role.

James said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been given the opportunity to take the helm at the Bournemouth Echo.

“It is an exciting time and I’m looking forward to working with a talented group of journalists in a constantly interesting and varied region, and a beautiful area of the country.

“The Echo is known for the quality and breadth of its journalism, and I welcome the challenge of continuing that work.

“Being part of a team leading the charge to bring the best coverage online and in print is inspiring and motivating and I can’t wait to get started.

“I know from previous experience that the Echo’s audience demands high standards and along with my colleagues, we will aim to meet and surpass them.”

Diarmuid added: “I am delighted to be welcoming James back to the business as editor of the Bournemouth Echo – a phenomenal local news brand which each month reaches over 80pc of the people of Bournemouth.

“I previously worked with James during his time at the Daily Echo in Southampton and know that he will be bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge, in addition to outstanding digital skills which will help further turbocharge the performance of the Bournemouth Echo in print and online.”