East Anglian Daily Times editor Terry Hunt has announced his retirement after 21 years at the helm of the daily newspaper covering Suffolk and Essex.
Hunt is thought to be the longest-serving regional editor in the country. He retires at the end of next month.
Hunt joined Eastern Counties Newspapers – now Archant, which owns and publishes the EADT – as a trainee reporter in 1979.
During his career he twice edited the Ipswich Star over six years and as EADT editor he led a number of local campaigns, including the award-winning Maths Challenge helping school pupils improve their maths.
Hunt said: “It’s been a huge privilege to do this job. I’m a Suffolk boy, and to be the editor of the newspaper which serves my home county, and the places I care about most, has been a great honour.
“I’m only the eighth editor of the EADT in 143 years, so I count myself extremely fortunate to have had this opportunity.”
Recruitment for a new editor for the paper “starts immediately”, an Archant spokesperson said.
In the interim, Ipswich Star editor Brad Jones will expand his role to also become acting EADT editor, supported by content director Steve Anglesey.
Hunt added: “It’s the job of a good local newspaper to use its influence to bring about positive change in its patch. I hope under my editorship the EADT has fulfilled that role, and has also accurately reflected the way life is in Suffolk and Essex.
“It’s been exciting, unpredictable and often challenging. But not once in the last 21 years has a single day dragged. I now look forward to a new phase of my life.”
Hunt said he would “maintain a relationship with Archant” including writing columns for the EADT and EADT Suffolk Magazine, adding: “ I also plan to work with a number of local organisations which are important to me.
“Hopefully there will also be more opportunities for walking, cycling, watching Ipswich Town, and perfecting my own unique brand of comedy golf.
“My thanks to the many, many people – colleagues and those in the community – who have been so supportive and helped me through the years.’’
Matt Kelly, Archant’s chief content officer and editor of The New European, said: “Terry is an editor of huge talent and a man who stands synonymous with the great newspaper that he has edited for so many years. He also happens to be a wonderful leader who has built an exceptional team.
“Suffolk and Archant will miss him greatly, although we are delighted he will continue to write for us about his beloved Ipswich Town Football Club. Whoever follows in the editor’s chair at the East Anglian Daily Times will inherit a great legacy.”
Archant chief executive Jeff Henry said: “Terry is a great campaigning editor and an inspirational mentor. Like the very best editors, he combines calm authority and impeccable decision-making with real passion for his patch, for his paper, and for his staff.
“An outstanding print journalist, he has adapted capably to changes in our industry and is currently presiding over record growth for the EADT’s digital brands.
“It’s a happy coincidence that Terry is stepping down just as the football team he loves, Ipswich Town, are enjoying their best start to a season in years. We wish him many happy years of following them at Portman Road – and, of course, he will continue to write about the club for the EADT.”
The East Anglian Daily Times has a daily print circulation 15,852 and 26,044 daily unique browsers on average, according to ABC figures to the end of last year.