The editor-in-chief of Northcliffe Media subsidiary Cornwall and Devon Media Andy Cooper is leaving the company in April after 17 years.
Cooper, who has had two spells as editor of the North Devon Journal, said: ‘I am a firm believer that all editors have a ‘shelf life’ and after ten years in total editing the Journal it’s time for me to move on.”
Cooper first joined Northcliffe Media in 1995 as editor of the Brentwood Gazette, later moving to Barnstaple in 1997 to become editor of the North Devon Journal.
He moved to Truro in 2005 as editor-in-chief of Cornwall and Devon Media and in 2009 returned to Barnstaple to again take up the editorship of the Journal in 2009, while retaining the role of editor-in-chief.
‘I have had an absolutely fantastic time working with Northcliffe Media and have been privileged to meet and work with some fantastic people across the company,’he said.
‘I shall miss the colleagues, past and present, who I have worked closely with at Cornwall and Devon Media and in particular the staff at the North Devon Journal who are a fantastically loyal, hard-working, talented bunch of colleagues.’
The managing director of the North Devon Journal and Cornwall & Devon Media, Trevor Lee, said: ‘Under Andy’s editorship the North Devon Journal has been one of the most successful weekly newspapers in the UK in newspaper sales terms.
‘Andy has been a terrific ambassador for the Journal and has forged many contacts across the public and private sector.
‘He has been a great supporter of all that is North Devon and over the years has campaigned for many great local causes and events. The huge success of the North Devon Business and Sports Awards are testimony to Andy’s endeavours.
‘Andy will leave behind one of the UK’s best local newspapers. We now begin the search for a new editor for the Journal. We will be looking for someone who can make a real difference to the paper and the community it serves”.
Last month it was announced that Nottingham Post editor Malcolm Pheby was standing down after six years in the role. Other departures in the last year include the Lincolnshire Echo’s Jon Grubb, Leicester Mercury’s Keith Perch, John Meehan from the Hull Daily Mail and Mark Astley from the Exeter Express & Echo.
The most recent ABC figures for the North Devon Journal show a 3.3 per cent drop in circulation to 26,774.