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Regional press moves: New editor for Newsquest Oxfordshire and Wiltshire, plus Laura Collins confirmed editor of YEP

Posted on: September 7, 2020 by Mariella Brown

A new editor has been appointed for Newsquest’s Oxfordshire & Wiltshire region.

Pete Gavan (pictured above) — editor of the Swindon Advertiser — has been promoted to the newly-created role of regional group editor for Newsquest Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.

The appointment was made as current Oxford Mail & Oxford Times editor Samantha Harman announced she has decided to leave Newsquest to pursue her career as head of media for Oxford Brookes University. The changes will take effect from the start of November.

Samantha has been with the business for over ten years and during that time has risen through the ranks from a trainee reporter at the Dorset Echo to her current position of editor of the Oxford titles winning numerous accolades and awards along the way.

Samantha Harman

Julia Lancett, managing director for Midlands South, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire & Buckinghamshire, said: “I would like to thank Sam for the fantastic job she has done whilst working for Newsquest and directly with me, bringing positive change, along with championing some great causes and projects for the business and industry.”

On Pete’s appointment, Toby Granville, editorial director at Newsquest, said: “I’m delighted Pete is going to expand his role across the Oxfordshire region as he’s transformed Swindon into one of our leading digital sites across the group and I’m looking forward to seeing him have a similar impact at Oxford.”


Meanwhile, over at JPIMedia, Laura Collins has been confirmed as editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post following a successful stint as interim editor at the Leeds-based daily.

Under her editorship, the YEP launched its Call It Out Campaign in July asking readers to help call out online abuse suffered by its journalists and members of the public. 

Laura Collins

Reflecting on her 13 years in the YEP’s newsroom, Laura wrote for Behind Local News:

“Journalism is in my blood and being named the interim editor of the title I care so passionately about, in the city I love, was a dream come true last year. I’ve spent the last 13 years dedicating my life to the title and now I’m absolutely delighted to be named the YEP’s editor.

“I am incredibly proud of the YEP and our talented team of journalists — the biggest investment in journalism in Leeds from any publisher — and have wasted no time in working hard to help make sure the city of Leeds shares my pride in the title.”

She added, “A real highlight has been to see the title highly commended by the Society of Editors in the Regional Press Awards this summer. The judges said: ‘The YEP shines out as an example of how to do it right.’

“I am looking forward to further building on these foundations to champion Leeds and make our city rightly proud of a title that has served it since 1890.”

Pictures thanks to Behind Local News