South Wales Argus editor Kevin Ward has announced he is stepping down after first starting at the paper 27 years ago.
Ward will leave Newsquest, publishers of the Argus, at the end of the year to launch his own media consultancy business while still contributing to the paper as a writer, columnist and consultant.
Deputy editor Nicole Garnon will replace him as editor and hold the additional role of head of content from Monday.
In a tweet announcing the news today, Ward said leaving the Argus would be a “huge wrench” but it was “time to try something new”.
Just informed the newsroom that I am leaving @southwalesargus – huge wrench after 27 years but time to try something new.
— Kevin Ward (@ArgusKevinWard) October 26, 2016
He said: “I am stepping down as editor of the daily newspaper for the city that has been my home for more than a quarter of a century and I am doing so with a heavy heart.
“But it is the right time to move on and I’m excited by the opportunities ahead and keen to test my skills in different sectors with my own business.
“I think I can make a real difference to Newport and the surrounding area with some of the activities I have planned in the New Year.
“I will miss the buzz of the newsroom and working with a hugely talented team of journalists. I am leaving a business with a great vision and in a strong print and digital position.
“I’ve worked with Nicole for 27 years and she will be an outstanding editor.”
Under Ward’s editorship, the Argus has achieved its highest overall (print and digital) audience for more than a decade and was the best-performing daily newspaper in Wales in terms of print sales during the first six months of 2016, Newsquest said.
The news of his departure was announced to Argus staff today by the managing director for Newsquest Wales, Hussain Bayoomi.
“Kevin has played an important role in the development of the East Wales business as an ambassador for Newsquest,” he said.
“We wish him every success with his new business and look forward to working with him in the future. I would personally like to thank Kevin for both his contribution to the business and for his support.”
Ward has been a journalist for 32 years, joining the Argus in 1989 as a sub-editor. He was deputy editor for seven years, before becoming publisher of Newsquest’s weekly titles in South Wales.
He edited daily the Worcester News for four years from 2007 and in 2011 became Newsquest’s publisher for its operations in East Wales and Gloucestershire.
In 2012 he was appointed editor of the Argus and regional managing editor for the Wales and Gloucestershire region.