A weekly editor is standing down after 14 years in the job to go and work for his town’s newly-elected MP.
Andrew Powell has been in charge at the Redditch Standard since 1996, having joined three years earlier as a trainee after being made redundant from his job as a computer systems analyst.
Now he is set for another change of career as a caseworker for recently-elected Conservative MP Karen Lumley.
His successor as editor is Ian Dipple, 27, who also began his journalism career as a Standard trainee.
Andrew, 53, admitted that while he was looking forward to the future he would miss the day-to-day buzz of the newspaper office which has become something of a second home over the last 17 years.
He said: “This has been and is a fun job. You come in every day and you never know what is going to hit you. You come in on Monday morning and you don’t know what you are going to be doing that week,” he said.
“It provides you with great variety, you get to meet some wonderful people from politicians to school headteachers and business leaders – that’s what is great about this job.
“It has been a fantastic journey over the last 17 years and we’ve run some amazing high profile stories in Redditch.”
Andrew picks out the paper’s two campaigns to save services at the Alexandra Hospital, the last of which attracted 17,000 signatures, as among his proudest moments.
“At the end of the day they not only did not close maternity services, they actually strengthened them by bringing in other county services so, while you can’t say whether our campaign was instrumental in that, I would like to think we helped,” he added.
Redditch-born Ian joined the Standard in September 2003 and has since gone on to fulfil the roles of sports editor, deputy editor at sister paper The Rugby Observer and more recently editor of the company’s Evesham Observer and Worcester Standard titles.
He said: “Andrew gave me my start in journalism for which I’ll always be grateful.
“He has done a tremendous job in helping to position The Redditch Standard as the town’s number one local newspaper and he will be missed by a lot of people both within the company and the community.
“We thank him for all his hard work and I am looking forward to the challenge of taking the paper forward.”
Catherine Phillips (05/07/2010 10:19:34)
All the best Andrew.
Bully (05/07/2010 11:08:41)
Good luck with everything Andrew, I remember you from many many years ago and had nothing but respect for you. Not sure about the editor badge in the photo though!
Howard Walker (05/07/2010 15:04:52)
Having worked with Andrew for the first four years of my largely undistinguished career in journalism, I’d like to wish him all the best for the future. Working at the Standard was a great experience and a great laugh, even if the financial rewards were rather less than stupendous.
Simon G (05/07/2010 15:35:59)
A worthy successor – congratulations Dipps!