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December 8, 2016

Mike Gilson departs after less than two years as editor of Brighton Argus and role is shared between existing staff

By Dominic Ponsford

Mike Gilson has left the Brighton Argus after just under two years as editor of the Sussex daily.

He is being replaced by Lucy Pearce who takes on the role of editor of Newsquest Sussex in addition to her current head of content job.

Staff were told of the move in an email from Tony Portelli, Newsquest managing director for London and Sussex.

In it he said: “Mike Gilson, group editor for Sussex, has left the company.

“I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Mike for his contribution to the company and I hope that you will join me in wishing Mike every success in the future.

“With immediate effect Andy Parkes will take on the role of Group Managing Editor for South London and Sussex. Andy is currently Group Managing Editor for Newsquest South London. Andy will continue to report into me.

“Lucy Pearce will take on the role of Editor/Head of Content for Newsquest Sussex also with immediate effect.

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“In addition to driving the day to day news agenda Lucy will also be active in representing our titles within the business community. All staff that previously reported to Mike Gilson will now report into Lucy. Lucy will report into Andy Parkes.

“I am sure that you will join me in wishing both Andy and Lucy every success in their new roles.”


Gilson joined the Argus in December 2015 after five years as editor of the Belfast Evening Telegraph.

It was his fifth daily editorship having previously edited The Scotsman, The News in Portsmouth and the Peterborough Telegraph.

His departure from the paper has coincided with its long-awaited move out of its drab headquarters in an industrial estate on the outskirts of the city to a new office in the centre of Brighton.

Print sales of the Argus fell 10.3 per cent to an average of 11,424 copies per day in the first half of 2016.

Daily website traffic grew 6.4 per cent to 54,365 unique browsers per day in the same period.

Brighton resident and media blogger Roy Greenslade wrote today: “Gilson was almost the only experienced journalist on the staff and, under his leadership, there was no doubt that it had improved. Local politicians and business people were full of praise.”

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