MEDIA: Watson moves to PA post

Tony Watson, former editor of the Yorkshire Post, is to take over the Press Association's national contract publishing operation from Phil Hall.

Hall quit last week, less than ten months after resigning the editor's chair at celebrity title Hello! to head the PA's contract division (PRWeek, 26 April 2002).

He is to join Trinity Mirror's national newspaper division as editorial development director. PA has contract publishing deals with Hello! magazine to produce its entertainment section, 7, with sports title Sport First and The Business newspaper.

From 3 February Watson will be based in East Yorkshire and will work with Eric Rayner, MD of Bristol-based Central Press Features, which was bought by PA at the end of last year, on developing PA's contract publishing work.

In addition, Watson will spearhead development of PA's editorial products for new media and traditional markets.

Although he refused to go into details, Watson said: 'I wanted to apply my knowledge of editorial content in a wider field, and apply it commercially. In a multimedia environment there will be opportunities. PA is now moving very much into non-traditional areas.'

In the newly created role as PA head of business development, Watson will report to Paul Potts, editor-in-chief and CEO.

Watson resigned from the Yorkshire Post at the end of 2002 after 13 years as editor, when he considered a 'number of options', he said.

He joined the paper as a reporter in 1984, and then moved to Granada TV's World in Action. Watson returned to the Yorkshire Post in 1988 as deputy editor and was made editor in 1989 at 34 years old.

Hall, a former editor of the News of the World, will work closely with Trinity Mirror's national newspaper editors in his newly created role. He joins the company on 3 February, the same day as new chief executive Sly Bailey.

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