Award-winning Essex Chronicle editor Alan Geere has become the latest high-profile figure to announce his departure from Northcliffe Media.
The company revealed today that Geere is leaving the company to run a journalism degree at Uganda's Victoria University.
Other Northcliffe departures in the last year include the Lincolnshire Echo's Jon Grubb, Leicester Mercury's Keith Perch, John Meehan from the Hull Daily Mail, Marc Astley from the Exeter Express & Echo, Western Morning News editor Alan Qualtrough and Nottingham Post editor Malcolm Pheby.
The long-serving editor of the South Wales Evening Post, Spencer Feeney, is leaving the company next month.
In today's announcement Geere, who is also editorial director of Northcliffe South East, said: 'I've been lucky to work in quite a bit of the developing world – Afghanistan, Caribbean, eastern Europe...Margate! – and see this as a great opportunity to strengthen my international experience.
'These are exciting times for journalism everywhere and I'm delighted to be able to use my expertise in an area where a strong media is a vital component in the democratic process."
He added: 'I've enjoyed every minute here working with some hugely talented people on some wonderful titles. Our brand of campaigning community journalism is alive and well and I look forward to seeing the papers go from strength to strength."
Northcliffe said Geere had previously worked at City and Westminster Universities in London and helped start an undergraduate programme at Worcester University.
He will also be studying for a PhD with Leicester University researching the theory and practice of Investigative Journalism.
During his three years at Northcliffe he oversaw the introduction of the central subbing unit that produces the region's 35 weekly titles and twice led the Essex Chronicle to the weekly newspaper of the year award at the Regional Press Awards.
Northcliffe will not be replacing the regional editorial director role but said the search will now start for the new Essex Chronicle editor.
Northcliffe South East managing director Richard Karn said: 'Alan has made a huge contribution to our business, most significantly in helping to develop our pool of talented journalists and editors – we all wish him every success in this exciting new chapter of his career."