View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
August 16, 2016updated 19 Aug 2016 9:43am

Sunday Independent owner Brian Doel dies aged 70 – ‘local newspapers were what drove him on’

By Freddy Mayhew

Brian Doel, owner of the regional West Country Sunday Independent, has died.

Only hours before his death he had been assisting with the 200-year-old Sunday Independent’s latest edition, celebrating the achievements of a host of West Country Olympians.

Doel, 70, returned to his publication in the South West of England after retiring as group managing director of Tindle Newspapers in May 2014.

He died while he and his wife Sam were in Cornwall on Saturday night. He is also survived by daughter Alexandra.

Born in Dundee, Doel spent his whole life in newspapers, serving first as a reporter on the Mid Devon Advertiser when he was 16.

He later joined other Devon weekly titles, including the Sunday Independent, before moving into management when the title became part of the Mirror Newspapers’ training scheme.

Doel headed a consortium of local businessmen who bought out the Mirror, and the successful development of several titles around the flagship Sunday Independent, which eventually led to a long association with the Tindle group.

Content from our partners
MHP Group's 30 To Watch awards for young journalists open for entries
How PA Media is helping newspapers make the digital transition
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it

When he took over a majority holding in the Sunday Independent a little over two years ago, it marked a 40-year association with the paper,

He said at the time: “The Sunday Independent was launched in 1808 and has survived Napoleon and two World Wars. It has another 200 years ahead.”

Under his stewardship, the Sunday Independent became a sports and leisure-led newspaper, moving to new premises on the outskirts of Liskeard in South East Cornwall.

It saw off the potential threat from a rival Plymouth Sunday title – launched, and subsequently dropped by Local World – and was prospering ahead of the new winter sports season.

Sports editor and editor-in-chief John Collings said: “We have all been deeply shocked by this sudden and sad news.

“Brian always played an active role in this newspaper, contributing on a daily basis and had been with us on Saturday helping to get the paper out. He just loved the Indy.

“I don’t think he could ever retire; newspapers, especially local newspapers with their communities at heart, were what drove him on.

“We are all determined to maintain his work ethos, his principles and his objectives to make the Indy even better still; it’s what he would have wanted and it’s what he will get.”

Doel’s connections with Tindle also continued, as he also oversaw the business dealings of the company’s very successful local radio stations in the Channel Islands and Ireland.

The funeral service will be held at St Paul’s Parish Church, Yelverton, five miles north of Plymouth on the Tavistock Road (PL20 6AB), on Tuesday, 23 August 23 at 2.30 pm.

The family have asked for donations to the Plymouth and West Devon NSPCC rather than flowers.

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network