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Editor of five weeklies ‘done in local journalism’ after taking PR job

Jon StokoeAn editor has confirmed he is “done in local journalism” after taking up a new public relations role.

Newsquest has confirmed Nigel Burton has regained oversight of the Craven Herald, Ilkley Gazette, Keighley News, Ryedale Gazette & Herald and Wharfedale Observer after Jon Stokoe’s departure from the company.

Jon, pictured, joined Newsquest in 2021 to take charge of the Yorkshire weeklies but announced he was leaving the company in February this year.

He has now taken up a new role as a communications manager with travel management firm Clarity Business Travel.

Nigel, who edits the Bradford Telegraph & Argus and York Press, had previously held overall responsibility for Jon’s titles in his role as Newsquest’s group editor for Yorkshire.

In a LinkedIn post announcing his new job, Jon wrote: “That’s me done in local journalism.”

He added: “I’ve had the chance to work with so many talented people along the way who have taught me so much. I’ve also worked with a few people who have taught me how not to do things.

“One thing is for sure – local journalism is still so important to our communities and I’m proud to have played a little part. I’d still urge you all to go out to buy your local newspaper and subscribe online.

“The industry continues to evolve but it’s not all for the better, hence why I sought a fresh challenge, aged 49.

“Thank you for the opportunity at Newsquest David Coates, it’s much appreciated. And a huge doff of my cap to Nigel Burton, always supportive and knows the industry inside and out. There’s no-one better to lead the Yorkshire team into the future.”

Jon went on to offer “massive respect” to Karen Darley at the Gazette & Herald, Viv Mason and Lesley Tate at the Craven Herald, Alistair Shand at the Keighley News and Claire Lomax at the Ilkley Gazette and Wharfedale Observer.

He wrote: “There won’t be many better journalists in the Newsquest business. Their dedication to the profession, in my mind, makes them the biggest assets in the business. I hope their continued efforts are rightly rewarded in the future.

“There are far too many people to thank individually but I should add a thank you to Joanne Thorp and Karen Wreglesworth for your cheery emails and video calls, albeit when you wanted something! Keep up that boundless enthusiasm and initiative, you’re two of the best sales staff I’ve worked with.

“Now I have a week or so to recharge the batteries before I get cracking as communications manager at Clarity Business Travel.

“I’ve already met some of my soon-to-be colleagues. Talking to them I’m even more enthused about starting in my new role as they all love working for the company where they feel valued.”

Jon began his career in 1995 and went on to edit the Whitby Gazette, his hometown paper.

He later set up his own company, Stokoe Media, after being made redundant from the Gazette eight years ago.

Jon has also previously worked full-time as a sub-editor for Reach plc’s newspapers in Lincolnshire.

He joined Newsquest in October 2021 after launching a public job search following his departure from regional interest title The Dalesman, where he was also editor.