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Editor set for last press day after 45 years in newspapers

Cornish Guardian editor Alan Cooper is to retire after a 45-year career in newspapers.

The 62-year-old has been editor of the eight-edition weekly for the past nine years, and has enjoyed a varied career on both national and regional titles.

Now he has decided that the time is right to step back and enjoy a more leisurely pace of life.

He told HoldtheFrontPage: “I was 17 when I started, and generally speaking I have had a really happy time and enjoyed the business.

“I will miss the buzz of it all and being part of the local community and trying to get things done.”

Indeed, during his time in the South West he has got things done, and among Alan’s many achievements is helping to raise £25,000 for a new sleep monitor for the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, as part of the Guardian’s centenary celebrations.

A Guardian campaign also helped to get a new book of remembrance at St Eval to permanently record the names of those who died whilst serving at RAF St Eval during the Second World War, and another stopped a mobile phone mast being built next to a local school.

Alan has also help increase sales at the Guardian, from 35,200 when he joined to its current circulation of around 40,000, and it has picked up a number of awards including Weekly Newspaper of the Year at the EDF Energy South West Media Awards.

  • Alan (centre) at this year’s EDF Energy South West Media Awards
  • The day-to-day running of the Guardian is also no mean feat – it has eight editions – covering St Austell, Newquay, Lostwithiel and Fowey, Bodmin, Wadebridge, Camelford, Launceston and Bude and Liskeard.

    Alan said: “After the first edition has gone we have between 55 and 60 page changes altogether, depending on the size of the paper.

    “We have offices in Bodmin and St Austell and a small office in Newquay and we also have reporters working from home covering the districts.”

    Alan’s retirement also marks the end of a 21-year career with the Guardian’s publishers, Northcliffe Newspapers. Before joining the Guardian he had been deputy editor and then editor of the Evening Herald in Plymouth.

    He was also deputy editor of the Sunday Independent in Plymouth, where at the time Alistair Campbell was a trainee, and he also worked for the Express in Manchester and the London Evening News, where he rose to chief sub-editor under editor Lou Kirby.

    He began his career on the Somerset County Gazette in Taunton.

    Northcliffe Newspapers managing director Michael Pelosi said: “We are grateful to Alan for his long service and for all he has done for the Evening Herald and the Cornish Guardian.”

  • Alan’s last working day will be Friday, September 30. No announcement has yet been made on his successor.