A former regional daily editor who went on to become a newspaper company boss has died aged 72.
Alan Goode was editor of The Herald, Plymouth before ending his career as the chief executive of Bristol United Press, parent company of the Bristol Evening Post.
He passed away at Weston General Hospital yesterday following a four-year battle with melanoma.
Editors past and present who worked with Alan have been among those paying tribute.
Former Evening Post editor Mike Lowe said: “Alan was a true newspaper legend who was fortunate enough to live through the golden age of the regional industry.
“He was a brilliant newspaperman and an inspirational leader who was hugely respected by his peers. He had a great sense of fun and mischief and was incredibly loyal to his staff.
“One of my great memories of him in Bristol was the Sunday morning Princess Diana died. We all piled into the office and managed to get a newspaper into the shops and supermarkets by 11.30am.
“And in the midst of the chaos was the chief executive of Bristol United Press, handing out bacon rolls and revelling in the sights and sounds of a newsroom at full tilt. He’ll be sorely missed.”
Terry Manners, editor of the Western Daily Press under Alan, said: “In the rough and tumble world of journalism, Alan Goode was the rough and tumble. A straight-talking, no nonsense kind of guy his editors believed in and trusted. Especially when the chips were down.
“A closed-door session with Alan might find you pinned up against the wall – but in public he would stand by your side and with his natural charm win over those baying for your blood, as so often happens in our industry.
“Alan Goode loved his beer, his memories of newsdesk life and his newspapers. They were in his blood. He was as at home on the editorial floor as he was in the board room.
“When Alan was at the helm in Bristol he opened the doors that made it possible for me to build an energetic, loyal and creative editorial team that made the Western Daily a proud old lady again. I will always thank him for that.”
Also joining the tributes was Andy Gough, managing director of Iliffe Digital, who worked with Alan at the Herald and the Express & Star, Wolverhampton.
He said: “Alan was one of the leading regional journalists of his generation – a natural born leader of men who took his publishing passion and unerring instincts out of the newsroom and into newspaper general management with phenomenal success.
“He was one of those rare individuals who truly inspired those around him to excel in efforts to meet his very high and exacting standards. I lost count of the number of walls I ran through simply because he made me believe I could. I was not alone.
“I feel privileged to have been able to call him colleague and friend – we have lost an industry giant and he will be sorely missed.”
Steve Egginton, editor of the Mendip Times, said: “Journalism was in his blood. “Despite the gravity of his illness he was proud of the fact that he only ever missed one deadline. As a committed grassroots journalist that’s a record he would be proud of.”
Alan landed his first job in journalism as a trainee reporter at the Oldbury Weekly News in 1960. He had two spells at the Express & Star – one as chief reporter and then as deputy editor – and a spell at the Birmingham Post and Mail before becoming editor of the Herald.
He moved into management with the Plymouth paper in 1987 and then moved to the Cornish Guardian and Western Gazette in senior management roles in the early 1990s, before he was appointed BUP chief executive – a role he held until retiring in 2004.
Alan leaves behind his wife of 47 years, Jennie, children Tim, Susie and Daniel, and grandchildren Hannah and Becky.
Said Jennie: “He loved his time in Bristol and loved his journalism. Everywhere he went, he worked very hard and did very well. He loved his garden and his family but his journalism came first.”