John Rippin has retired after spending nearly 50 years with the same newspaper, the Loughborough and Shepshed Echo.
Rippin joined the paper in 1955 at the age of 16 as a trainee reporter. Twenty-one years later he became the paper’s third editor. The Echo, Leicestershire’s leading paid-for weekly, was founded in 1891.
Rippin’s predecessor, Charles Harriss, continued in the editor’s chair until the age of 87.
When Rippin took over, it was still the era of hot metal; the Echo was a broadsheet and the front page was filled with estate agents’ advertisements.
Within a few weeks, the modernisation of the pages had begun and over the past 10 years, the paper has won a number of awards. One of Rippin’s proudest moments came in 1997 when the Echo was chosen as Campaigning Weekly Newspaper of the Year in a Newspaper Society competition.
Rippin is a former regional chairman of the old Guild of British Newspaper Editors (now the Society of Editors).
He will continue the bylined Echo column that he has written for the past eight years.
Rippin said he had always been proud to work for the Echo, adding: “One of my main motivating forces has always been to try to carry on the good work of Echo stalwarts of the past.”
Andy Rush has stepped up from executive editor to take over the editor’s chair. He has been at the Echo for 11 years, rising from general reporter. The 43-year-old began as a trainee reporter with the Coalville Times in 1988.
Rush said of Rippin: “John has taken the Echo to new heights in circulation and content. The paper has never been such an interesting read as it is today, and a lot of it is down to John’s love and commitment.”