Archant South West’s Weston, Worle & Somerset Mercury has appointed a new editor for the first time in more than a quarter of a century.
Incumbent Judi Kisiel will retire at the end of April after 25 years in the role, with current content editor Simon Angear set to take over.
Simon will take the reins of the 171-year-old weekly – plus the North Somerset Times and Midweek titles - from May 1.
Simon, who was born and raised in Weston-super-Mare, says he has long harboured ambitions of heading his home town paper.
The 38-year-old said: “Having grown up in Weston, the Mercury was the first paper I ever knew, and its strength and community standing shaped my ideas of what a good newspaper can achieve.
“Few people are ever lucky enough to get the job they’ve always wanted, so I’m thrilled to be given a chance in a role which means so much to me.
“I’m enormously grateful to Judi for all the support and guidance she has offered me throughout my time with Archant.
“I understand the weight of responsibility which comes with succeeding her as editor; Judi’s legacy is a thriving and respected title, and it will be my job to protect that and help it grow even further.
“That job will be made easier by the fact that I am inheriting an excellent newsroom team, and I’ve been touched by the support and kind wishes they have all offered since my appointment was confirmed.”
Simon began his career on the Weston-super-Mare Northcliffe title The Weston & Worle News in 1999, before joining Raymond’s Press Agency in Leicester in 2001.
He became news editor of Newsquest’s Somerset weekly The Bridgwater Mercury in 2003, and spent five years there before joining Archant in 2008.
He lives in the heart of Weston-super-Mare with wife Vicky – a reporter with Archant – and their two children, and is relishing the challenges the new role will bring.
Simon said: “I’ve always been immensely fond of Weston, and it’s exciting to become editor at a time when the town stands on the cusp of an era which will shape its direction and prosperity for many years to come.
“A number of key developments are close to fruition, and the town continues to grow, with thousands of new homes and a wealth of new industry on the way.
“That will mean a host of new editorial and commercial opportunities for the Mercury, and I’m looking forward to playing a key role in exploring those opportunities.”
Archant Lifestyle Regional MD, Tim Thurston, said: “I am delighted with Simon’s appointment, he is a Weston man and has demonstrated in his role as content editor that he has the attributes to be an excellent editor. Having benefited from working with Judi for many years he knows the town, the paper and what makes a good news story.
“I would also like to pay tribute to Judi, who has had a remarkable career with Archant and has produced some of the finest papers ever seen in the South West. During Judi’s tenure the Weston Mercury has won many awards and is one of the most renowned weekly papers in the country.
“Judi has also built an excellent website with a very impressive audience and hands over to Simon a strong and vibrant brand. Everyone who knows Judi will wish her a very happy retirement and thank her for her contribution to our business.”
Pictured above is new Weston Mercury editor Simon Angear.
© Archant Ltd 2013