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Regional daily editor to bow out ahead of cutbacks

Marc WaddingtonThe editor of a regional daily and associated sister titles is leaving Reach plc after 17 years ahead of a major round of cutbacks at the publisher.

Marc Waddington, editor of Stoke daily The Sentinel and the Staffordshire Live and Cheshire Live websites, has announced his departure from the business.

His announcement comes the day after Reach announced that 450 jobs would be going as part of a round of cuts which will see some of its websites and offices closed.

HTFP understands that Staffordshire Live is among the websites under potential threat of closure, although Reach has so far said only that “some of our smaller titles” will be closing.

Marc, pictured, has overseen the Staffordshire-Cheshire titles for the past three years, having originally joined the company as a trainee reporter on the Crewe Chronicle in 2007.

It is not clear whether he will be replaced, or if his role is disappearing as part of the cutbacks.

The Sentinel splashed on the campaign's launch on Monday
During Marc’s time in charge, The Sentinel won plaudits for its campaigning journalism, including raising awareness of the dangers of button batteries following the death of two-year-old Harper-Lee Fanthorpe, pictured above.

In the course of his time with Reach, Marc also served as political reporter and city editor at the Liverpool Echo and Daily Post, and head of news at The Daily Post North Wales.

Said Marc: “Wherever in this business I have worked, I have worked with some of the best in the business. And that is testament to what a brilliant stable of talent this company is, and to the quality of the titles it is privileged to own.

“Being a journalist here has given me incredible opportunities – from helping to change the laws of the land for the better to meeting Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in Studio 2 at Abbey Road. These are things of which most people can only dream (I know I certainly did), but as journalists, we get to do them.

“It has been a particular honour to lead The Sentinel and the wider Staffordshire and Cheshire operation. It has not been without its challenges, but we can be proud of everything we have achieved. It is a remarkable team of wonderful people who it’s been a great privilege to lead.

“I – like many people who have worked here over the years – met the person I would go on to marry here. I have made some of the greatest friends of my life here. These are among the many priceless things that came as a direct result of my time working as part of this company, and for which I will be ever grateful to it.”

Reach West Midlands editorial director Graeme Brown added: “Marc has been an excellent editor of the Stoke-on-Trent cluster. He has been an immense support to me, but that is only a small part of it.

“He is, simply put, one of the best journalists I have ever worked with. A skilled storyteller, capable of seeing news from a mile away, and he has an unflinching sense of the responsibility that comes with being a journalist and leader of other journalists.

“This has been in evidence in some of the exclusives he has written – even as editor – and is all the more in evidence when you look back over nearly two decades of excellence with the company.”

Marc plans to remain with the company in the coming weeks and to leave before the end of the year to pursue other opportunities.