Newsquest’s group managing editor for its South London and Sussex titles has left the publisher after 20 years, it was confirmed today.
Andy Parkes had editorial responsibility for Brighton daily the Argus and Newsquest’s weekly titles in south London.
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It was reported on Monday that Parkes had been placed on gardening leave, with his role under review and at risk of redundancy, although this was not confirmed by Newsquest.
An email sent to editorial staff at Newsquest South London and Sussex today, seen by Press Gazette, confirmed that Parkes has now left the business with immediate effect.
The email was sent by Mike Harper, formerly the managing director of Newsquest Essex and North London who has now become MD for Newsquest South East.
Harper wrote that Parkes “will be leaving the company with immediate effect to embark upon the next exciting stage of his career”.
“Andy achieved a great deal during his 20 years with Newsquest and has a remarkable record within the company and the industry winning more than 90 editorial awards,” the email went on.
“I am sure you will join me in wishing Andy well in his future endeavours and I would like to personally thank him for his considerable contribution to our business.”
A Newsquest South London and Sussex staff member, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “It’s taken pretty much all of us by surprise but makes me wonder what’s going to happen next.
“Apparently this will have little to no effect to what the journalists are doing but I can’t say I’m 100 per cent convinced.”
Newsquest’s managing director for South London and Sussex Tony Portelli, to whom Parkes reported, left the company just three months ago at the end of 2018.
Newsquest’s weekly titles in south London include the News Shopper series, the Sutton and Croydon Guardian, the Surrey Comet in Kingston, and the Times series covering Richmond and Twickenham, Wimbledon and Wandsworth.
Parkes has worked for Newsquest since 1998, spending eight years as editor of the News Shopper before becoming group managing editor for the South London titles.
He added Sussex to his portfolio in 2016 following the departure of Argus editor Mike Gilson.
Picture: Wikimedia Commons