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Former Northcliffe journalist turned manager dies at 73

A journalist who spent most of his 40-year career at Northcliffe titles and rose through the ranks to a number of management roles has died at 73.

Ronald Hill, left, who was born in Cornwall, started out at the weekly West Briton in 1957 after leaving school and years later became managing director of the title.

He also held senior roles at the Cornish Guardian, North Devon Journal, the Gloucestershire Echo and The Citizen.

Ronald retired in 1997 due to ill health and has now died at his home at the age of 73.

After starting his career at the West Briton, Ronald became a parliamentary reporter with the Press Association in London before marrying Dawn Bennetts and returning to Cornwall, where their sons Rodney and Jeremy were born.

He was then a sub-editor with the Western Morning News, putting the paper “to bed” in the early hours of the morning.

In the late 1960s, Ronald became the West Briton’s co-district reporter for Camborne-Redruth and Helston and was also the paper’s motoring correspondent, which suited his life-long love of cars.

After spending time as managing editor of the Cornish Guardian, he returned to the West Briton again as managing director.

While at the Guardian in 1985, Ronald helped to set up the First Air Ambulance Service Trust with helicopter pilot Geoff Newman and became its chairman.

In 1991, Ronald became managing editor of the North Devon Journal before ending his career overseeing Gloucester’s The Citizen and the Gloucestershire Echo, where he retired as chairman in 1997.

In his retirement, he and his wife moved to Northam in North Devon, where he enjoyed spending time with his three grandchildren.