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Wee County News boss steps down after six years as editor

Joan McCann, whose management-led buyout of the Wee County News from Johnston Press led to the formation of Forth Independent Newspapers, has quit her dual role as editor of the News and sister title, the fledgling Allanwater News.

The Wee County News was launched in 1995 and in 2001 was named Royal Bank of Scotland/Drum Scottish Local Newspaper of the Year. She had joined the paper pre-launch and became editor in 2001.

It started life as an independently owned paper and was sold twice, first to Regional Independent Media, and then to Johnston Press following their buyout of RIM. In 2002 Johnston Press approached the editor to ask if she would be interested in putting together a management buyout and in September 2002 Forth Independent Newspapers was born.

In 2003 Joan became editorial director and general manager, and Pauline McCart, previously managing director at the Galloway Gazette, became MD.

In March 2005 FIN bought the East Kilbride Mail.

Then, in 2006 the executive team launched the Allanwater News, a free newspaper serving Bridge of Allan, Dunblane, and the western approaches to Stirling. Joan took on the role of editor and has seen the paper go from strength to strength.

She said: “There comes a time when it is appropriate to go, and for me that time is now. I will take some much needed time out, and see what transpires. I wish the papers all success for the future.”

Joan, (53), remains a major shareholder and director.

Before joining the Wee County News, she was a journalist at the Oban Times, then editor of Holiday West Highland for 11 years before running the freelance news agency, Central Media Services.

Her replacement as editor of the two papers is Ronnie Paterson, who has been at the Wee County News since day one, and was previously sports editor.