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January 30, 2014

Former BBC website editor and local newspaper journalist Hugh Berlyn dies aged 61

By Jimmy Nicholls

Hugh Berlyn, former editor of BBC News and Sport websites across England, died aged 61 on Monday from pancreatic cancer.

During a varied career he worked for a number of regional newspapers and a local radio station, retiring after seeing traffic for the BBC websites in England grow to 10 million.

Senior broadcast journalist Colin Pemberton, who worked with Berlyn at BBC Radio Leicester, said: “Hugh was a true wordsmith and his dedication to accuracy and the search for facts among obfuscation was an inspiration to all who worked with him.”

He began his career as a trainee reporter at the Kidderminster Shuttle in 1969, doing stints at West Lancs Press Agency and the Stafford Newsletter before starting as chief feature writer at Birmingham’s Sunday Mercury in 1975.

In 1977-80 Berlyn worked as chief district reporter for the Birmingham Evening Mail, making the move to radio as news producer from BBC Radio WM and later news editor at BBC Radio Leicester from 1983.

Following a return to print in the late 1980s Berlyn worked in a number of senior roles before rising to the editorship of the South Wales Evening Post in 1993 where he oversaw an editorial team of 72.

He finished his career working on the BBC website, leading development of English Regions News Online before retiring in 2010 as editor of the BBC News and Sport websites across England.

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Executive editor Eileen Murphy of BBC News Online England said: “People will remember him as a charismatic editorial leader who recognised talent in his teams and understood that audiences deserve the best journalism at local, national and international levels.”

Berlyn is survived by his wife Lynne, three children and six grandchildren.

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