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Editor quits title where he started career for government PR role

BenCraigA weekly newspaper editor who first joined the title as a cub reporter in 2002 is leaving to join a government agency in a PR role.

Ben Craig is leaving the New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times to join the Maritime and Coastguard Agency as a press officer.

Ben, pictured, first joined the Iliffe Media owned title as a trainee 21 years ago when it was owned by the late Charles Curry.

Iliffe Media is in the process of finding a replacement for Ben and the editor role was recently advertised on HTFP.

After joining the Advertiser and Times in 2002, Ben spent nine years as a reporter before leaving for a four-year stint with BECG, a specialist communications consultancy for the built environment.

Returning as a senior reporter in 2016, he became chief reporter in2018, digital editor in 2019 and acting news editor in 2020 before taking the editor’s chair later that year.

In the same year, the paper was taken over by a joint venture headed by Edward Iliffe and Rory Fowler, bringing to an end 90 years of ownership by the Curry family.

Ben will not be moving far as his new role with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is based in Southampton,  some 20 miles away from New Milton and Lymington.

Ben told HTFP: “I first started at the New Milton Advertiser and Lymington Times in 2002 as a cub reporter under the late proprietor Charles Curry MBE, so it’s been a real honour to serve as editor, staying true to the newspaper’s traditional, hyperlocal ethos.

“I’m very proud to have played a part over the years in the A&T moving forward to relaunch in colour, embrace digital publishing, relocate offices, and adopt a whole new editorial system when we became part of the Iliffe Media Group.

“For me, it’s time for change and a new challenge but I’ll be very sad to leave a team of such dedicated and knowledgeable local journalists, and an expert advertising team.

“The A&T is in very good hands and I wish everyone the very best.”