SOUTH Wales Argus editor Kevin Ward is to step down from the role at the end of this week after 27 years with the newspaper’s owners.

Mr Ward will step down as Argus editor on Friday and leave parent company Newsquest at the end of the year, it was announced today.

He will be launching his own media consultancy business in the new year and will continue to contribute to the Argus as a writer, columnist and consultant.

Nicole Garnon, the Argus’s current Deputy Editor, will take up the role of Editor/Head of Content on Monday.

A journalist for 32 years, Mr Ward joined the Argus in 1989 as a sub-editor and has held a number of roles at parent company Newsquest.

He was the deputy editor of the Argus for seven years, during which time the paper was named Welsh Daily Newspaper of the Year and Mr Ward was named Editorial Designer of the Year at the Welsh Press Awards, before becoming publisher of Newsquest’s weekly newspapers in South Wales in 2005.

From 2007 to 2011 he was editor of the daily Worcester News. Under Mr Ward’s editorship the Worcester News was named Midlands Newspaper of the Year and won Scoop of the Year at the Midlands Media Awards. The Worcester News also won Newsquest’s Front Page of the Year award and Mr Ward was named Editor of the Year by the company in 2011.

Having lived in Newport since 1989, he returned to work in the city in 2011 when he was named publisher for Newsquest’s East Wales and Gloucestershire operations before being appointed as editor of the Argus and regional managing editor for Newsquest’s Wales and Gloucestershire region in 2012.

Under Mr Ward’s editorship, the Argus has achieved its highest overall (print and digital) audience for more than a decade and was the best-performing daily newspaper in Wales in terms of print sales during the first six months of 2016. 

Mr Ward said: “I am stepping down as editor of the daily newspaper for the city that has been my home for more than a quarter of a century and I am doing so with a heavy heart.

“But it is the right time to move on and I’m excited by the opportunities ahead and keen to test my skills in different sectors with my own business. I think I can make a real difference to Newport and the surrounding area with some of the activities I have planned in the new year.

“I will miss the buzz of the newsroom and working with a hugely talented team of journalists. I am leaving a business with a great vision and in a strong print and digital position.

"I've worked with Nicole for 27 years and she will be an outstanding editor."

The news was announced to Argus staff today by the managing director for Newsquest Wales, Hussain Bayoomi.

Mr Bayoomi said: “Kevin has played an important role in the development of the East Wales business as an ambassador for Newsquest. We wish him every success with his new business and look forward to working with him in the future.  I would personally like to thank Kevin for both his contribution to the business and for his support.”