Bettsworth appointed Leicester Mercury editor

Leicester Mercury acting editor Richard Bettsworth has been appointed full-time editor of the paper.

Bettsworth took over the reins after Keith Perch’s sudden departure in October. He began his career in 1990 as a trainee reporter at Portsmouth’s The News, where he eventually rose to deputy news editor before joining the Leicester Mercury in 2000.

Bettsworth, who was appointed deputy editor in 2005, said: ‘It is an honour to edit a newspaper which is held in such high regard and a privilege to lead a team of journalists which contains so many talented individuals.

‘The Leicester Mercury plays an important role in the Leicestershire community, at its heart are the core principle of producing high-quality local journalism which reflects the interests and concerns of our readers and which champions our community.”

In February, Mercury publishers Northcliffe Media announced 11 editorial jobs were to go at the newspapers following a 45 per cent fall in ad revenue over the last five years. The company said that circulation revenue at the paper was also down 30 per cent.

In December the paper launched a new-look weekend edition which saw the Saturday cover price rise from 40p to 60p.

Commenting on Bettsworth’s appointment, Northcliffe’s Leicester publisher David Simms said: ‘Richard is an editor of the highest calibre who has a wealth of experience.

‘He has an enormous amount to offer both the paper and the business. He has done a brilliant job leading the team and has contributed greatly to the wider business community.’

The latest ABC figures for the Leicester Mercury show circulation in the last six months of 2011 was down 10 per cent to 48,457.

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