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Trusty lieutenant takes up a new challenge

Editor Barrie Williams has paid a warm tribute to his lieutenant, Tony Moss, who is leaving the Western Morning News after their partnership of 24 years both in Plymouth, and previously at the Nottingham Evening Post.

Tony began his career at the Buxton Advertiser in Derbyshire and went on to work as a reporter on the Kentish Express and the Stoke-on-Trent City Times.

His 42-year career in production started when he became a sub-editor on the Gloucestershire Echo at the tender age of 19.

Two years later he became a sub at the Nottingham Evening Post and then aged just 22 he was promoted to deputy chief sub.

It was in Nottingham in 1970 where he first met Barrie Williams, who was then working in features.

Barrie said: “In 1971 I left Nottingham but Tony, who remained there, was at the vanguard of a revolution in 1976 when the Nottingham Evening Post became the first newspaper in Europe – let alone in the UK – to introduce direct input technology for journalists.

“This was a decade at least before most of the rest of the industry grasped the nettle and the computerised newsroom became the norm.”

Barrie returned to the Post as editor in 1981, whereupon Tony left, to go back there in 1983 as features editor, before swiftly moving to become production editor and assistant editor.

Barrie said: “For the 12 years that followed we battled side by side through God knows how many editions – we stood shoulder to shoulder through massive changes in the industry and crises galore.

“But it is the good times, the fun we had and the brilliant papers we produced together that I remember most.

“When I was asked to come down here and re-launch the Western Morning News it was unthinkable to me that I should do it without Mossy.

“After a few delicate negotiations with my successor in Nottingham and Northcliffe HQ in London, Tony joined me here. And the rest, as they say, is history‚Ķ”

The duo undertook a successful re-launch in 1997, bagged a record number of industry awards, and presided over “massive stories, more brilliant newspapers, more change, more crises and more fun.”

Barrie said: “In 24 years, taking editionising into account, I estimate that Mossy and I have produced 26,208 editions of the Nottingham Evening Post and the Western Morning News: 26,208 editions – and not one with which we’ve been completely satisfied!

“I feel proud and privileged to have worked with the best production journalist in the regional newspaper industry for so many rewarding years.”

Sixty-one-year-old Tony plans to carry on working – establishing a consultancy business in the region.

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