Robin Burgess, the former chief executive of regional publisher CN Group, has been remembered as a “highly respected” newspaperman and “true gentleman” after his death aged 68.
Burgess died of cancer at his home in the Cumbrian village of Scaleby on Friday. He was the boss of the publisher behind the Carlisle News and Star and several other regional titles until his retirement in 2016.
In 2008 he was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Honours List for services to the newspaper industry.
A spokesperson for his family said: “Robin was a very good, decent and kind man, aware of his responsibilities to his community and all around him.
“He loved his family, his county and his newspapers. We shall miss him.”
CN Group was run by the Burgess family for around 150 years before it was sold to regional publishing giant Newsquest in February last year.
Newsquest Cumbria managing director Jonathan Lee said: “This is such sad news. Robin was a true gentleman, highly respected across the industry and across the community.
“He was passionate about making sure the media served its community, always taking a keen interest in everyone he met. He will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him. All our thoughts are with Alex and the family.”
News Media Association chief executive David Newell said: “Robin Burgess was a newspaper publisher of principle and integrity, who understood the community role of local newspapers and their capacity for public good.
“He served the Newspaper Society as President and in this role and other industry positions was a robust defender of the freedom to publish and the need for the industry to stand together against state interference and regulation.
“On all the big calls, his judgement was right, and the news media world will miss his strong, independent voice.”
Burgess is survived by his wife Alex, his son James and daughters Rose, Kate and Rachel.
A private funeral for the newspaperman will be held in Scaleby, Cumbria, with a memorial service to be held at a later date in Carlisle.