Trinity Mirror has appointed the Evening Gazette’s George Oliver as the new editor of the Leicester Mercury.
Oliver is currently the executive editor at the Gazette, based in Teesside. He replaces Kevin Booth who stepped down after 18 months in the job for “personal reasons”.
The publishing group has also appointed David Bartlett, executive editor of the Liverpool Echo, as editor-in-chief of the Cambridge News and its associated print and digital portfolio.
The Mercury has suffered cutbacks at the hands of is new owners, who have been restructuring newsrooms across the country after buying out Local World in a deal worth £220m in November to become the UK’s largest regional news publisher.
Staff, backed by the NUJ, asked for the paper to be withdrawn from this year’s Ns Awards after four out of six staff photographers were axed. The year before it was named regional daily newspaper of the year at the awards.
The paper’s award-wining features department is also facing a reduction in three staff, it was announced last month, including Lee Marlow who was named Feature Writer of the Year for the third year running at May’s Regional Press Awards.
Oliver, 36, who worked at The Sentinel, Stoke, earlier in his career, said: “I am proud to have been given the opportunity to edit a newspaper with the history and standing of the Leicester Mercury.
“I’m also very much looking forward to working with my new colleagues to continue the Mercury’s rapid development in digital publishing and audience growth.”
During his time at the Echo, Bartlett reported on the release of previously unseen documents made public by the Hillsborough Independent Panel. Prior to joining the Liverpool newsroom in 2007, he worked at the Lancashire Telegraph and the Preston Citizen.
Bartlett, 34, said: “It’s a really exciting time to be joining the Cambridge team and I look forward to helping grow the brands as we increase the focus on audience and digital growth.
“I’d like to thank all my colleagues in Liverpool who have been wonderful to work with for the past nine years. It has been a privilege, and I leave behind many good friends in the newsroom.”
Trinity Mirror’s editorial director for regionals, Neil Benson, said: “David and George are two of our brightest talents, who have proved to be equally skilled in the print and digital spheres.
“It is testament to the depth of talent within Trinity Mirror that in each case they came through as the best of an extremely strong field of candidates. I wish them every success in their new roles.”