By Dominic Ponsford
The new editor of Brighton evening paper the Argus has been named as Michael Beard – currently group editor of the Hastings Observer series.
Beard, 44, has been at the Johnston Press-owned group of weeklies, which are 50 miles up the Sussex coast from Brighton, for the last four years. He has previously been assistant editor at the Evening Herald in Plymouth and the Bristol-based Western Daily Press. Previous Argus editor Simon Bradshaw left the Newsquest daily abruptly in October after six years with the paper. His departure followed an upmarket relaunch in January which saw much community news dropped.
Instead of increasing sales the relaunch led to an increase in the rate of the decline. The paper’s last ABC was down seven per cent year-on year (Mon to Fri). Bradshaw is understood to have been shifting at the Mail on Sunday since leaving the Argus.
At the Hastings-based Observer series Beard has been in charge of the Hastings Observer (circulation 22,411), the Bexhill Observer (9,754) and the Rye and Battle Observer (6,451). His new title is group of editor Newsquest Sussex.