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Newspaper veteran Jim Black to retire

Jim Black, managing director of Staffordshire Newspapers Ltd, is to retire.

The 59-year-old will step down from his post in April.

His successor will be Gary Matthews, currently managing director of Herts and Essex Newspapers Ltd. Both companies are part of Iliffe News & Media.

In his role Jim is responsible for the Burton Mail, Ashbourne News Telegraph, Uttoxeter Advertiser, Staffordshire Newsletter and Black Country Bugle.

He has worked for parent company Yattendon Investment Trust for 32 years, and was circulation director of the Birmingham Post & Mail – which it then owned – before moving to Burton as general manager in 1986.

He was appointed managing director in 1988.

Jim’s retirement will also see him step down from his roles as director of AdFast, the regional press’ internet-based artwork transmission system, and chairman of the Newspaper Society’s technical forum.

In 2001 he was named Production Journal Personality of the Year at the Newspaper Awards in London.

He told HoldtheFrontPage: “I will be spending more time with my family and doing some travelling. I’m also hoping that my golf handicap may finally go down.”

Gary, (50), has been managing director of Herts and Essex Newspapers since January 2000 and is responsible for the Mercury series, Observer series and Harlow Star.

He joined Herts and Essex Newspapers as group editor in 1988, becoming editor-in-chief and then publishing director, and had previously worked for the Wolverhampton Express and Star before becoming launch editor of the Chronicle series.

He also made a name for himself as a semi-professional footballer and was a Wolves junior before moving to Willenhall Town where he played at Wembley in the FA Vase final.

The move will see him return closer his to his West Midlands roots, as he is originally from Wordsley in Stourbridge.

Gary said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time in Hertfordshire and have made a lot of friends.

“It is a great group of newspapers in Herts and Essex, but I am looking forward to new challenges in Staffordshire.”

Gary’s successor will be Paul Thompson, (52), formerly managing director of Archant (East London & Essex).

He will join the company on February 6 and a handover period will follow before Gary moves to Burton in March for a handover with Jim.

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