He succeeds Karl Holbrook, who was recently appointed editor of Newsquest’s The Northern Echo.
Steve, who had a previous two-year stint as editor of the Lancashire Telegraph, before being appointed as senior audience & content editor across the region, will assume the role with immediate effect. Coupled with the dailies he will also have responsibility for the Bury Times, The Oldham Times and Messenger titles.
He said: “We have such a talented and hardworking team and I feel incredibly honoured to be given this opportunity.
“I started my journalism career as a trainee reporter at The Bolton News 12 years ago – and it’s my hometown paper too – so to get this job feels just that little bit extra special.
“The Lancashire Telegraph also holds a special place in my heart, having had two great years there as editor.
“Everyone working on both daily titles as well as our weeklies has done a standout job over the last six months in incredibly challenging circumstances, and I feel very lucky that I get to work with this brilliant bunch of people every day.”
Nick Fellows, regional managing director for Newsquest North West and North Wales said: “I am delighted to offer Steve this opportunity to lead some of Newsquest’s most successful news brands. He is inheriting a strong performing newsroom and a great team.
“I know Steve will be keen to build on the successful foundations that have been laid in this business and make his own mark in those communities we continue to serve so well.
“I’d also like to personally thank Karl for his outstanding contribution in the last two years and wish him every success at The Northern Echo.”
Karl said: “I am delighted for Steve. We go back a number of years and he has been a key member of the team over the past two years under my tenure.
“I have no doubt Steve and the team will continue to take all of these wonderful titles to new heights and I wish them all every success.”
Toby Granville, editorial director at Newsquest said: “I’m so pleased to have a talent like Steve back in our fantastic team of editors.
“Since his last tenure he’s been patiently waiting in the wings to seize the next opportunity in the hot seat – and this one’s landed right on his doorstep.
“These are challenging times but Steve’s enthusiasm knows no bounds and he’s going to be brilliant in his new role.”