Newsquest hires editor-in-chief for Dorset daily papers

The editor of the Bournemouth Echo, Neal Butterworth, has been promoted to the newly created role of editor-in-chief across Newsquest‘s two Dorset daily papers.

Butterworth, who joined the Echo in 1998, will continue to edit the Bournemouth daily and will also oversee its sister title, the Dorset Echo in Weymouth, the publisher confirmed today.

The move coincides with the appointment of a new editor for the Dorset Echo. Toby Granville will be leaving the deputy editor role at the Oxford Mail to join the title in January.

Granville told Press Gazette that one of his priorities in the new job will be to prepare the paper for the 2012 Olympic Games – when Weymouth will be the host town for the sailing events.

“It’s not until 2012 – but that will be here in five minutes. It’s going to be a real boost for the readers and the community,” he said.

According to the regional newspaper ABCs for the first half of 2008, the Dorset Echo has an average daily circulation of 18,702 copies – all of which are actively purchased.

The figure was down three per cent on the same period in 2007, but Granville said he was inheriting a title that was relatively strong in the broader context of falling regional newspaper circulations.

“As far as the industry average is concerned it’s quite healthy,” he said. “My predecessor had a successful tenure. I hope that I can take that over. It’s not just the newspaper. The aim is to grow the web audience as well.”

Granville replaces David Murdock, who left the editorship of the Dorset Echo in May after 10 years to move into media consultancy work and PR.

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