Mr Franzen, who announced his intention to stand down six weeks ago, was at the helm of what is now the country’s best selling regional morning newspaper for 16 years.
A farewell presentation ceremony for Peter was held at Archant Norfolk’s HQ in Norwich, attended by scores of present and former EDP staff.
Colleagues described him as an outstanding editor who was renowned for his professionalism, leadership and fairness
Archant Norfolk managing director Stephan Phillips said: “Peter has been a fantastic editor, and one of the very few to have ever been recognised by Her Majesty the Queen when he was awarded an OBE in 2005.
“As a colleague, sitting around our management table he has been a tower of strength to me personally and the company. He has been a close colleague to us all.
“Daring, quick-witted, pacey and with an eye for an opportunity his enthusiasm radiated for all to see, he was someone who challenged the norm. Often his sentences started with the phrase ‘Why can’t we…’
“People looked up to him and consulted with him freely, benefiting from the excellent, worldly advice he would give and I’m sure he will continue to do that.”
Added Peter: “I’m sorry to be leaving but all good things come to an end. I wish the EDP the very best in the future and I will be keeping an eye on its progress.
“We have achieved a lot of the years and I’m sure this will continue in the future.”
Peter, 62, began his career in journalism in the London area before moving to Norfolk in 1970 as a sub-editor on the then Eastern Evening News.
He will not be severing all his ties to the company, having been asked by Mr Phillips to remain in an ambassadorial and advisory role.