LGBTQ+ journalist network founder among Newsquest’s award winners

Newsquest, the UK’s leading local media group, has announced the winners of its annual Excellence Awards.

The Newsquest Excellence Awards dinner was held at Rutland Hall Hotel, near Oakham, on June 16th 2022 with over 70 people from across the company in attendance.

Henry Faure Walker, the CEO at Newsquest, said: “The awards give us an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the huge achievements and the depth of talent we are fortunate to have across the Newsquest business — and the phenomenal work they do.”

The Newsquest Excellence Award Winners for 2021 were as follows:

Publishing Centre of the Year

The winner was Oxfordshire & Wiltshire, which has been consistently excellent in all areas: strong profit, growing local ad revenues, excellent digital, growing audience, superb talent — an outstanding team effort.

Runner up was the Herald & Times, Glasgow.

News Brand of the Year

The winner was the East Lothian Courier: brilliantly led by editor Robbie Scott, a phenomenal weekly newspaper with super digital and print audience, deeply connected with its community. Circulation volumes were only 3.7% down, and digital subs are now over 600.

Runner up was the Hampshire Chronicle.

Robbie Scott, Editor of the East Lothian Courier with Henry Faure Walker, Newsquest CEO

Editor of the Year

The winner was Stephanie Preece of Midlands South. Her first year in the Editor’s seat based in Worcester has been trail blazing. Web traffic has soared, with the Worcester News consistently one of the best performing Newsquest websites. Coupled with that, she and her team have embraced new ways of working, including the adoption of auto publishing, whilst maintaining strong newspaper sales volumes.

Runner up was Brian Hossack of Clyde & Forth.

Journalist of the Year

The winner was Tom Seaward from our Swindon newsroom. Tom consistently demonstrates why he is one of the country’s best local journalists. From delving deep into the horrors of county lines drugs gangs to an incredibly well-handled treatment of a shocking case involving a man taking his mother’s life in the woods, he leads the way in the sort of trusted local news coverage our titles embody.

Runner up was Sophie May Clarke (Blackburn).

Sales Leader of the Year

The winner was David Ward. David has shown tremendous leadership in driving the Glasgow business to commercial success, with 2021 a year dominated by some standout campaigns (not least for COP26) and excellence in developing new customer relationships.

Runner up was Tracy Hayden of Newsquest South Coast.

Sales Team of the Year

The winner was the North West Inside Sales Team. Expertly led by Louise Doyle, this team embraces a commitment to coaching, consultative digital sales, high sales productivity, and new customer acquisition.

Runner up was the Midlands South DAC team.

Sales Person of the Year

The winner was Jay Dominey (Southampton). Jay showed excellent results in all areas, revenue up 195% year on year, customer count up 119% and over 50% of his revenues now coming from subscription sales.

Runner up was Andrew Preece (Midlands South).

Newspaper Sales

The winner was Debbie Hellaby. In addition to her local responsibilities, Debbie took on an expanded group role, and led the Cash for Local Charities initiative in which Newsquest gave £145,000 to 50 community organisations up and down the country.

Runner up was Chris Strong (North West)

Customer Service

The winner was Bharat Lukka who has led the successful transition of our London papers to a free pick-up model, bringing huge benefits to these titles in both reader engagement and cost efficiencies.

Runner up was Fiona Goldie of Cumbria Newspaper Sales.

Unsung Hero

The winner was Wayne Impey. Wayne is responsible for the maintenance and facilities in Newsquest offices across the South East. A brilliant example of always being prepared to help out whatever the ask, putting himself forward and learning new skills along the way.

Runner up was Michelle Walton (Newsquest Digital)

Spotlight

The winner was Mel Cooley (Sales Excellence). Mel’s creativity and innovation have helped ensure that Newsquest has one of the, if not the, best learning & development platforms in media sales in the UK, and is now providing support for editorial.

Runner up was the Customer Contact Centre in Basildon.

Inclusion & Diversity

The winner was Sophie Perry from the Oxford newsroom. Sophie has demonstrated outstanding initiative in creating the industry’s first LGBTQ+ network. She is a great advocate for the business and in addition to running this group also speaks at universities, does events and panel discussions to further support LGBTQ+ journalists across the industry.

Sophie Perry of the Oxford Mail with Henry Faure Walker, Newsquest CEO

Apprentice Trainee

The winner was Amy Shearer of the Greenock Telegraph. Despite being a newcomer to the industry, Amy led major initiatives such as the Time to Talk mental health campaign which was adopted group wide. She played a key role in growing digital subscriptions for her title. She also won Young Journalist of the Year at the PPA Scotland Awards.

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