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Death of news boss who was 'everything an editor should be'

Former Romsey Advertiser editor Terry Viney has died, aged 74, after a long illness.

Dubbed “Mr Romsey” by many in the town, Terry had worked for the Advertiser for 41 years, becoming the Advertiser’s longest-serving journalist.

He spent 14 years as editor after the death of this predecessor, Ken Vear, in 1984, and during his time in charge he oversaw an increase the paper’s circulation and pagination and the arrival of colour.

He retired from full-time journalism in February 1998, but continued as a sub-editor role for a time.

  • Terry on his retirement with
    a special newspaper cake
  • He also served as chairman of the Hampshire branch of the National Union of Journalists for 15 years, and when he first joined the paper he spent one day a week selling advertising as well as working as a reporter.

    Former colleague Alan Cleaver, who edited the Advertiser’s sister paper the Hampshire Chronicle and is now deputy editor of the Whitehaven News, said: “When they checked on sales and readership, independent researchers were puzzled that the paper sold more copies in Romsey than there were houses.

    “But Terry was everything an editor should be: totally immersed in his community, fiercely loyal to his paper and a tireless campaigner for his reader.

    “It was little surprise, therefore, that the Romsey Advertiser grew under his editorship to be one of the best-read papers in the country.

    “He was a great friend and helper to me when I was a young editor of the Hampshire Chronicle. It was always good to have him as an ally in any boardroom battles.

    “I still hear Terry’s guiding voice when I face difficult decisions. ‘What would Terry have done?’ is a question I can ask myself and that usually steers me in the right direction.

    “I treasure many fond memories and anecdotes about this great man. One that always makes me smile was when he was having a ‘lively discussion’ with the managing director about increasing the number of pages so he could cram in even more stories.

    “This argument was actually taking place at Terry’s retirement dinner. Even though he was retiring, he was still fighting for his paper, his readers and his staff.”

    A thanksgiving service for Terry’s life is due to be held at Romsey Abbey on Wednesday.