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Popular former Archant MD dies aged 47

A popular former MD who once advertised himself in a national newspaper while unemployed has died aged just 47.

Neville Keithley worked for various companies during his career and was part of the Archant Scotland team until he was made redundant in 2007 after it was sold off to Johnston Press.

Exasperated by the lack of work opportunities, Neville took out an advert in the Daily Telegraph in April advertising himself and his skills to any potential employers. He died on Saturday after recently discovering he had terminal cancer.

During his career, Sunderland-born Neville worked for Newsquest Sussex as group advertising manager, from where he joined the Kentish Times Series in 1999.

After three years he moved north of the border to become managing director of Archant Scotland’s HQ where he ran a series of weeklies, websites and magazines until his redundancy in 2007.

Ex-colleagues have lined up to pay tribute to ‘Nev’ who was a popular figure known for his dedicated and sense of humour.

His former PA at the Kentish Times Margaret Cutler said: “Nev was a great person to know. “He had a wonderful sense of humour and knew a great deal about the publishing industry. We achieved a lot together at the Kentish Times and I will never forget him.”

Kentish Times group editor Melody Foreman said: “Neville always took a keen interest in the editorial department and was always encouraging and supportive when I was first appointed as group editor.

“He always had a smile and a joke to deflate any fears or potential problems that lay ahead. Nev also told me he had great faith in me and I will never forget that.

“He had a unique philosophy on life which expanded and changed intelligently with the ebb and flow of the business.”

Archant London publishing director John Hooker added: “He told me he had had a few pains here and there and was going to get them checked out.

“Shortly after this he called me to tell me he had been given a few months to live.

“We had a big talk about being positive and he was glad to have the opportunity to put his affairs in order.

“His greatest ambition was to be a managing director and he achieved that in Scotland much to his credit. He was so determined to do what was necessary to achieve success that he used to fly to Scotland on a Monday morning, stay there for the week, then fly back at the weekend.

“When Nev advertised himself in The Daily Telegraph as a managing director looking for a job it was a great example of his innovative approach to life.”

His is survived by his wife Angela and daughters Daniella and Gina. A date for the funeral has yet to be announced.


Onlooker (12/08/2009 13:16:21)
What a sad outcome for a brave man who refused to be beaten by redundancy.

Jason Williams (12/08/2009 13:53:56)
Sad to hear – Neville was a great chap to work with during his time at Mortons Media Group Ltd. His most famous phrase;
“There is no such thing as a problem – only a challenge”
RIP Nev.

suzanne o’haer (17/08/2009 11:45:24)
Such sad news. “Our Northern Svengali!” Nev was an inspiring leader, always encouraging us to try and never give up. His friends north of the border will never forget him.