Veteran editor Colin Grainger leaves Archant after latest merger of London weeklies

Archant London is merging its news teams on the Docklands & East London Advertiser and Newham Recorder in a move that sees the departure of veteran editor Colin Grainger.

The company is also scrapping the Stratford edition of the Newham Recorder introduced last year after the 145-year-old free weekly the Stratford & Newham Express was scrapped.

Archant has confirmed that Grainger, who joined the paper as a trainee reporter in 1972, has left the Recorder and that one editor will oversee both weeklies.

Two editorial roles are at risk of redundancy as a result of the merger, which follows a strategic review carried out by new Archant East London group editor Malcolm Starbrook.

Both titles will continue to be published under their own mastheads but will share some content. Archant said in a statement: “The merger will see the two newspapers continue to be available for sale in their core areas but with a new design, larger pagination, increased separate news content and an improved shared entertainments section covering the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Newham.

“At the same time the free Stratford Recorder will no longer be produced as an edition of the Newham Recorder.”

Starbrook said:  “Our newspapers continue to evolve and change in order to better reflect the needs of every community in which we publish, which means that we need constantly to review our circulation areas, formats and distribution.”

“East London is a highly-competitive market place and we need to provide vibrant, effective and sustainable newspapers that give news and information in strong and value-for money formats.”

“We are committed to continue to play this key role in producing both print and digital formats.”

Archant said the digital editions of the Docklands and East London Advertiser and Newham Recorder will be unaffected by the change.

In October 2011 Archant announced it was merging Tower Hamlets weeklies The Dockland and the East London Advertiser into a single title.

In April 2012 the Stratford & Newham Express, which was first published in 1866, was replaced by an 80-page edition of the Newham Recorder with a Stratford masthead and a number of editorial and advertising change pages.

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