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News group's first woman editor to step down

Editor Eve Fuller is preparing to retire after more than 40 years in the regional press.

Eve, (60), is to step down from her role at the Hexham Courant on February 4, ending a nine year reign at the 141-year-old broadsheet.

Her appointment as editor in February 1996 saw her become the seventh editor in its history – and the first female to take up the post and woman editor at parent company the CN group.

Eve (pictured) said: “I’m amazed that I’ve survived in the industry this long.

“When I started it seemed that no women over the age of 30 were employed as journalists.

“Then as I progressed many of my contemporaries fell victim to ‘restructuring’.

“But here I am, about to be put out to grass with no firm plans about the future except that I will find time this summer to take a few hours out to sit in the sun with a glass of wine and contemplate life, the universe and everything.

“The Courant’s sales area is the district of Tynedale in the heart of Hadrian’s Wall Country. But it has not been as quiet a place as one might suppose.

“We hit the national headlines for weeks in 2001 with the devastating outbreak of foot-and-mouth and have now hit them again when the River Tyne burst its banks in stormy weather causing damage which cut off the town’s water supply.”

Eve began her career as a trainee reporter with the Croydon Advertiser Group in 1962, and spent the majority of her career with the company, with posts including the deputy editorship of the Beckenham Advertiser and editor of the Croydon Post.

She later became production editor of the group’s six free newspapers, then group editor, leaving in 1989 to take up editorship of the Sevenoaks Chronicle, and became managing editor in 1992.

During her carrer she has also been chairman of the London and Home Counties region of the Guild of Editors (now the Society of Editors) in 1993-4, and chairman of the Northern Region of the society in 1997-8.

  • As Eve prepares to hand over the reins to Colin Tapping, currently deputy editor at The Northern Echo, she has told how she fears local democracy is under threat and that the role of local newspapers is now even more vital.

    To read why she believes the mission of local newspapers to report what’s really going on in our communities has never been so difficult, click here.