Changeover at Beacon

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NEW BROOM: Incoming Beacon editor Neryda McNabb sweeps resigning editor Geoff Mercer out of the Beacon premises as new chief reporter Kathy Forsyth waves farewell. The editor changeover proper happens on Friday. Photo Louis Klaassen D5321-15

THE Beacon has appointed a new editor.

After 27 years of reporting for the paper, including serving as deputy editor for the past three years, Neryda McNabb will take over the role from May 15.

Current editor Geoff Mercer has resigned to pursue other interests.

Ms McNabb said she was looking forward to the opportunity to edit the Beacon and its sister publication the Opotiki News, while continuing to edit the Eastern Bay Life weekend newspaper.

“I’ve enjoyed all 27 years of my time at the Beacon, and in Whakatane, and am looking forward to this new direction and the challenge of being editor.

“Community newspapers are an essential part of any community and I’ll be doing my best to ensure we continue to fulfil the wants and needs of our readers.”

Mr Mercer said he had enjoyed the editor role but had decided to tackle some different bucket-list employment options while age and fitness allowed.

“I would like to thank all those people I have dealt with over the past three years for their patience and support.

“The decisions an editor makes on a daily basis can have huge implications for readers and the community, something I’ve tried to keep at the forefront of my mind.”

Beacon Media Group managing director John Spring said he was delighted to be able appoint another long-serving staff member to the editor role.

“Neryda has been a key member of the editorial team for many years. She is a skilled journalist with an extensive network of contacts throughout the district.”

Mr Spring said it was also a positive milestone to be appointing a female to the role for the first time in the paper’s history.

To fill the vacancy in the reporter ranks created by Ms McNabb’s promotion, the paper has employed a new chief reporter, Kathy Forsyth.

Mrs Forsyth has extensive reporting and sub-editing experience in South Africa and New Zealand.

The editorial staff changes at the Beacon follow the recent appointment of Norske Skog mill operations manager Aaron Buist to the chief executive role at Beacon Media.

Mr Buist starts his new role on June 12.

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