Sunday Express editor Martin Townsend stepping down after 17 years at helm

Sunday Express editor Martin Townsend is stepping down from the newspaper after 17 years, Press Gazette understands.

Townsend has edited the title since 2001, when he moved over from celebrity magazine OK!, also owned by Express Newspapers, which he edited for two years.

He was previously showbiz editor for the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine.

Townsend’s last day is understood to have been on Saturday.

Townsend was the last of the former Express and Star editors who remained in post following Reach’s takeover of Express Newspapers earlier this year.

In a cryptic tweet yesterday, Sunday Express business editor Geoff Ho, said: “We live in interesting times, here at Express Newspapers.”

Reach (formerly Trinity Mirror) bought the Daily and Sunday Express and the Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday from Richard Desmond’s Northern and Shell in February as part of a £127m deal.

In March the editors of the Daily Express and Daily Star both stepped down and were replaced with staff from Mirror Group Newspapers.

Daily Star Sunday editor Stuart James initially remained in post but Press Gazette reported that he had stepped down on 13 July.

The Sunday Express has a circulation of 295,294 according to the latest ABC figures, down 10.12 per cent year-on-year.

A Reach spokesperson declined to comment.

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