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April 26, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 7:42am

Local weekly editor describes sudden exit from Newsquest as ‘undignified and unpleasant’

By Freddy Mayhew

The editor of a local weekly title published by Newsquest has described his exit from the company following redundancy as “undignified and unpleasant”.

Simon Bull said he had been the “proud editor” of the News Shopper, which covers parts of Kent and south-east London, “when suddenly I’m hit out of nowhere by redundancy”.

In comments on social media he went on: “This definitely wasn’t part of my plans. It’s been an undignified and unpleasant exit from Newsquest, but as upsetting as it’s all been, I’m determined not to let it beat me.

“Instead, I’m throwing myself into finding the next thing.”

Bull was made editor in July last year, having previously spent six years as web editor for Newsquest across titles in the south east. He began his career as a trainee reporter on the Observer newspapers in Chichester.

The News Shopper, which is based in Orpington, London, has a hybrid distribution model, costing 60p where sold. It publishes five editions.

Press Gazette has contacted Newsquest for comment.

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The company told Hold the Front Page: “The free newspaper model in London is particularly challenging and we have had to take steps to change the way we work.

“Unfortunately, this has led to the loss of Simon’s role and a sub-editor role, and Will Harrison has been appointed group editor for South London.

“Whilst the redundancies are regrettable, it means we can continue to invest in frontline reporters which are central to the continued success of our local news brands.”

Newsquest is owned by US publisher Gannett, whose board is facing a hostile takeover from a rival company.

The UK publisher recently cut seven editorial jobs at three newsrooms across Brighton, south London and Wales.

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