The group editor for six regional news brands across the north west has left CN Group after his role was axed.
James Higgins (pictured) had been editor of the North-West Evening Mail for nearly four years and group editor for the region for one year.
Following the Newsquest takeover of Cumbria-based CN Group in March the role of group editor has been removed as part of a restructuring of editorial staff.
The structural change was part of a cost cutting exercise by CN Group to help them run in a “more efficient manner” and will see the promotion of two associate editors to the position of editor to fill Higgins’ old role.
Higgins, who left the group this week, said: “It has been a huge privilege to work with a team of fantastically dedicated people over the last eight years.
“We have achieved so much – for the communities we serve, in holding those in power firmly to account, and through adapting to the ever-changing nature of our industry.
“So much has changed since the turn of the decade, and I’m proud to have been a part of a team which has embraced change – and in some cases defined it.
“There is something very special about the regional media and whatever the future may now hold, I will forever cherish my 18 years at the heart of an industry which is so very important to the fabric of our democracy.”
Higgins worked for Bolton News as head of content and assistant editor before moving to The Evening Mail as deputy editor in 2010.
During his time with CN Group, Higgins and his team have won a number of industry awards and CN Group’s news brands are shortlisted for 13 accolades at this year’s Regional Press Awards.
Taking over editorship at CN Group’s regional titles will be Chris Story, who moves from associate editor to editor at Cumberland news, and Vanessa Sims, who will take over as editor at The Mail.
Jonathan Lee, managing director at CN group said: “As you are all aware, we need to operate in a more efficient manner if we are to return CN Group to a secure financial footing.
“James has been hugely committed during his time with the company and I would like to place on record my thanks for his efforts.”