New editor for Wharfedale Observer and Ilkley Gazette

The Ilkley Gazette and its sister paper, the Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, have a new editor.

Malcolm Hoddy, who has been editor of the Keighley News since 1994, has been appointed editor of both newspapers.

Sixty-three-year-old Hoddy, who has been a journalist for 43 years, will retain his Keighley News role while taking control of the other two weekly papers.

His new title will be editor-in-chief of the Keighley News, Ilkley Gazette and Wharfedale & Airedale Observer.

Hoddy said: “I have worked at all levels in this industry but my greatest love is working with weekly titles because it involves true grass roots journalism.

“No other form of journalism keeps people so in touch with what is happening on their doorsteps.

“My task is to do just that and build on the great work done by previous editors.”

Sheena Stavert, the previous editor of the papers, has taken on a new senior role as multimedia content manager.

In her new post she will be responsible for the production of all paid-for weekly titles published by the Gazette and Observer’s parent company, Newsquest (Bradford), including the Keighley News and the Craven Herald & Pioneer.

Alan Birkinshaw, former deputy editor of the Ilkley and Otley titles, has been appointed as sports editor for all the weekly titles.

Perry Austin-Clarke, Newsquest (Bradford) group editor, said: “Malcolm has huge experience of editing local newspapers and I have no doubt that he is the right man to lead the Gazette and the Observer into a new era which will see some exciting changes and provide even better newspapers for the people of Ilkley, Otley, Wharfedale and Aireborough.

“At the same time I’m certain that, under Sheena’s leadership, the production of all our weekly titles will go from strength to strength.”

Meanwhile, two senior staff members from the Ilkley and Otley titles have retired: photographer Richard Leach and sports editor Rachel O’Connor.

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