New Bath Chronicle editor 'open to change'

By Sarah Lagan

Sam Holliday – editor of the weekly Tamworth Herald and group editor
of Central Independent Newspapers (CIN) – is to succeed David Gledhill
as editor of the Bath Chronicle amid speculation that it is to change
from an evening paper to a weekly.

Gledhill left abruptly after 11 years and is believed to have
opposed proposals, so far unconfirmed, to change to weekly or bi-weekly
publication.

His successor said that leaving Northcliffe’s CIN,
based in his home town of Tamworth, was a “massive culture shock” after
22 years.

Holliday started on the Tamworth Herald in 1983 as a
trainee and went on to become sports editor before moving to edit
sister title the Walsall Advertiser.

He returned to the Herald as editor in 1999 and became group editor in 2000.

He
recently led the Herald through a major redesign incorporating more
positive news, making page leads smaller and aimed at attracting
younger readers.

Holliday said: “I am sad to leave but it’s good
to move before you become part of the furniture. The biggest culture
change will be changing from a weekly to a daily.

“It is possible
the [Chronicle] could become weekly. The most important thing is to
have the right paper for the market. If in Bath that is an evening then
brilliant, and if it is a different paper then bring it on. I am open
to the possibility and if we find the paper is struggling we will do
more research and talk to readers and journalists.”

The Chronicle’s last ABC figure was down eight per cent to 13,871.

Highlights
of Holliday’s CIN career included three of its titles – the Lichfield
Mercury, the Sutton Coldfield Observer and the Walsall Advertiser –
winning awards for best free newspaper in their region for three years
running at the Newspaper Society Awards. The Herald also won campaign
of the year at the Regional Press Awards.

He added: “It’s been a real mix of congratulations and commiserations. I’ve the most wonderful staff at the Herald and I think the world of them.”

Holliday starts his new job on 5 September.

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