Observer editor to depart for pastures new

064637-1_ channon  28/10/06  (IH)''Colin Channon - Observer series.
064637-1_ channon 28/10/06 (IH)''Colin Channon - Observer series.

THE Observer is to have a new editor.

Current editor Colin Channon is leaving in the new year to edit a portfolio of daily and weekly titles in Essex.

He will be replaced by Gary Shipton, who is already the editor-in-chief of many of the Observer’s sister papers in West and East Sussex, including the Sussex Express, West Sussex County Times, Mid Sussex Times and West Sussex Gazette.

Colin said: “I have been the editor at the Observer for seven years and in many ways, I’m very sad to be leaving.

“But the opportunity to be editor-in-chief of two dailies in Essex, the Echo and the Gazette, as well as several outstanding weekly titles, was too good to turn down.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the past seven years and working with such a talented and dedicated editorial team.

“It has been a time of great change, switching the Observer from a broadsheet to its present compact size, as well as developing our online and digital offering.

“The Observer team has responded magnificently to that challenge, and readers have been delighted with their new-look paper.

“I’m very proud that the Observer remains one of the best-loved and best-read weekly papers in the country, with a very loyal readership.

“The paper’s strength is that it has remained very traditional, very local and in touch with the communities it serves.

“I have loved being part of that community.”