Tyne & Wear

Editor Rob Lawson quits after Sunderland print press closure news

Rob Lawson
Image caption Mr Lawson said in a tweet it had been a "tough decision"

The editor of a North East daily paper has resigned from his job after it was announced its printing press is to shut threatening more than 80 jobs.

Rob Lawson has revealed he is quitting the Sunderland Echo after parent firm Johnston Press said it was closing the print plant.

The firm said 81 jobs could go in October after a consultation and its papers would be printed in Sheffield.

It also said Mr Lawson had been an "outstanding" editor.

North East Press managing director Stuart Birkett, said: "Rob Lawson, editorial director of Northeast Press Ltd and editor of the Sunderland Echo has decided to leave the company to pursue outside business opportunities.

'Tough decision'

"Rob has made an outstanding contribution to Northeast Press and we wish him well for the future."

Titles currently printed at the plant in Pennywell include the Echo, the Gazette and the Hartlepool Mail, along with a series of weeklies.

In a tweet Mr Lawson, who has been in his post for 10 years, said: "Tough decision to take, but I feel the time is right to go".

Chief operating officer Danny Cammiade said: "A strategic review has been undertaken of the Johnston Press print capacity. As a result of this review it is proposed to close Sunderland Web and transfer the majority of printing to Sheffield Web, with some external contract print support."

Almost 300 staff work at the Echo's base in Pennywell. Earlier this year editorial staff from the Hartlepool Mail and Shields Gazette moved to the main office in Sunderland as part of cost-cutting measures.

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