Brighton Argus editor resigns

Posted On 03 Nov 2014 at 10:02 pm

The editor of the Argus, Michael Beard, has resigned after nine years at the helm.

Mr Beard is leaving at the end of the month to take up a communications role with Public Health England.

He said: “I am ready for a new challenge. I have been with The Argus for nearly a decade, the longest I have spent at any of the papers where I have worked.

“The time is right for me to change direction.

“It has been a real honour to edit a newspaper in the best city in the country.

“Editors come and go but one constant is the business they work for. The Argus survives us all. I am proud to have played a very small part in the history of that institution.”

Dawn Sweeney, the managing director of Newsquest Sussex, the division of the US conglomerate Gannett which owns the Argus, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Michael for his considerable contribution to the Argus over the last nine years and thank him for his direction and management of the editorial department.

“I would also like to express my personal thanks to Michael for his commitment and support over the last 15 months and wish him every success for the future.”

She has begun the process of recruiting Michael’s successor.

Media commentator Roy Greenslade, who lives in Brighton, wrote in his Guardian blog last week: “The Argus sold an average of 14,370 copies a day in the first six months of this year, 13.6 per cent fewer than in the same period the year before.

“By the month of June the average daily sale had gone down to 13,746 and I am reliably informed that it has fallen to 12,000 on some days.

“In a population approaching 500,000 that’s some shortfall, even taking account of the growing online visitors.”

Last week figures prepared by the Argus and published by JICREG (the Joint Industry Committee for Regional Media Research) recorded sales of fewer than 5,000 copies a day in Brighton and Hove.

The Sussex daily newspaper, based in Crowhurst Road, Hollingbury, sells 3,002 copies a day in Brighton and 1,867 in Hove. These are the lowest figures in the newspaper’s 134-year history.

  1. feline1 Reply

    Really? A man whose paper pedalled vaccine denialism at the height of the MMR debacle is going to work for ‘Public Health England’??

    You couldn’t make it up!

  2. Andy Frost Reply

    Now that’s good news!

  3. hjarrs Reply

    Michael Beard presided over turning the Argus into a negative and politicised paper that at times is a paraday of the Daily Mail, which has alienated much of the potential readership in what is one of the most progressive community’s in the country. Once I bought the paper daily, now I don’t know anyone that reads it and I haven’t bought a copy for over a year.

    I trully hope that those left at the Argus can turn the paper around and once more make a successful, popular and informative paper of which the city can be proud.

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