Northcliffe's Westcountry boss resigns

Andy Gough

Just over two months after the abrupt resignation of Northcliffe Newspapers boss Alec Davidson, the managing director of the company’s Westcountry Publications has also quit.

Andy Gough resigned last week and was replaced by Duncan Currall, managing director since 1997 of Swansea-based South West Wales Publications, another Northcliffe subsidiary.

Currall now takes charge of the Western Morning News, the Plymouth Evening Herald, the Exeter Express & Echo and the Torquay Herald Express,, plus the centre’s weekly newspapers.

The papers suffered badly when the Audit Bureau of Circulation reassessed their sales figures earlier this year. The Evening Herald’s sales were revised downwards by 11 per cent, the Herald Express by 5 per cent, the Western Morning News by 2 per cent and the Express & Echo by 5 per cent.

Chris Hoult, finance director of Westcountry Publications, was already working out his notice because he is to join an NHS Trust. He is being replaced by Paul Gale, from the Cornish operation, while Chris Rees succeeds Currall at South West Wales Publications, where he will take charge of the South Wales Evening Post, the Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star.

Northcliffe said Currall had a wealth of experience in the regional newspaper industry, having previously been managing director of the Essex Chronicle series, the Western Mail & Echo, the Nottingham Evening Post and the Hull Daily Mail.

Davidson’s successor as managing director of Northcliffe Newspapers, Kevin Beattie, has recently been on his first tour of the company’s titles, listening to the views of editors and executives.

by Jean Morgan

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