Borrell latest newspaper editor for Archant Life

By Sarah Lagan

Former Birmingham Mail editor Roger Borrell has re-emerged as editor of Archant Life’s county magazine Lancashire Life and its sister title Lake District Life.

Borrell was made redundant from the Mail in March last year after sales continued to drop following a dramatic relaunch.

In March of this year, former Bristol Evening Post editor Mike Lowe was recruited to edit Archant Life’s Cotswold Life, while former York Evening Press editor and MD of Newsquest’s York business, Liz Page, also joined the group as its Northern division managing director.

Borrell told Press Gazette: "Some might reach the conclusion that people are drifting away from newspapers and going into magazines, which is possible.

I think there are some real problems in the newspaper industry at the moment in the regions and there are also quite a lot of displaced editors: they are going to be looking for jobs outside the traditional newspaper editor role. It wasn’t a conscious decision on my part but this looked like the perfect job for me."

Borrell said one of the big attractions to the new post was that he would have a more hands-on role than previously.

He said: "I spent most of the last four years in regional newspapers sitting in meetings. The attraction with this is I can do a lot more writing and handson journalism. It’s always worthwhile and valuable to bring a different set of disciplines to the industry.

"I don’t think people look in county magazines for hard news, but I sometimes think that you can produce good, interesting news features which will sometimes change the pace in a magazine."

Born in the Northwest, Borrell formerly edited the Lancashire Evening Post seeing the paper through an award-winning relaunch from broadsheet to compact. Prior to the Post, he was deputy editor at the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.

Archant claims Lancashire Life is the country’s biggest selling county magazine with a circulation of 22,551. The bi–monthly Lake District Life sells 6,000.

Borrell replaces Tony Skinner on 18 April. In February, Borrell caused controversy in the pages of Press Gazette by dismissing radical newspaper relaunches as a waste of time and money. Once named "The Relaunch Man" in this magazine, he now questions their value.

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