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‘At risk’ content editor leaves Reach for new role with BBC

George Thorpe has announced his switch from Reach in the south west of England to the BBC.

A senior news content editor whose role was placed at risk of redundancy by Reach plc is leaving the publisher to take up a new role with the BBC.

George Thorpe, left, was breaking news content editor for a series of websites including Bristol Live, Somerset Live, Gloucestershire Live, Dorset Live and Wiltshire Live.

However both Dorset Live and Wiltshire Live are closing as part of the current round of cutbacks at Reach which will see 450 roles made redundant including 320 editorial posts.

Many have already left the business, having accepted voluntary terms, while negotiations continue between the publisher and union representatives.

George, who will leave Reach at the end of the year, revealed in a post on social media platform ‘X’  that he is joining the BBC News South West reporting team.

Speaking to HTFP, he explained that his new role will be as a journalist covering Devon, Cornwall and the Channel Islands.

He said: “I have really enjoyed working for the Reach titles based in the South West since I joined in February 2020 after leaving Sky News to follow my fiancé (now wife) down to this part of the world.

“However, I felt it was time to move on elsewhere and when I saw the job advert pop up with the BBC’s South West team, I thought it was a good bet and I was fortunate enough to make it through.

“I’m really excited to be moving over to the BBC and working for a broadcaster with a global reputation and with a group of colleagues I already know are fantastic at their jobs and very welcoming.

“I have been very fortunate to get the chance to work on some big stories, including the Covid pandemic and lockdowns very soon after my arrival, during my time with Reach’s South West titles, along with the opportunity to work on a number of other projects.

“I have also met and worked with some wonderful people and made some of the best friends of my life, so leaving isn’t an easy task, but I’m delighted to be heading to the BBC.”

George began his career as a trainee at the Southend/ Basildon Echo, before moving on to the Chelmsford and Brentwood Weekly News and working as a sports reporter for the Falmouth/ Helston Packet.