THE managing director of the Tavistock Times Gazette series of newspapers has just been appointed managing director of Tindle Newspapers Ltd, the Times' parent company.

Brian Doel has been running the Tindle Group of newspapers in the South West and Wales as regional director for more than 16 years.

The announcement coincides with Tindle Newspapers' recent purchase of the Somerset-based Radstock and Midsomer Norton Journal, just days after the Government refused permission for the Northcliffe group to buy it. The competitions minister objected to the purchase on the strength of its titles in the Bristol and Bath area.

Journal manager George Donkin said: 'After weeks of discussions with Northcliffe, it came as a bombshell to be told the sale couldn't go ahead. We and the staff were devastated.

'Then, on the same day as the minister's announcement, Brian Doel rang me and we met to agree a new deal. I visited one of the Tindle centres in Somerset and found them dedicated to running local community newspapers, so we were happy to sign up.'

Sir Ray Tindle said the company was 'delighted' the Journal had 'come on board' and said the paper fitted in well with Tindle Newspapers' policy of serving the community.