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Tributes paid after well-known former editor dies at 84

Tributes have been paid after the death of a well-known former regional daily editor at the age of 84.

Neville Stack, left, became editor-in-chief at the Leicester Mercury in 1974 and spent 13 years in the role, taking the paper from being the tenth biggest-selling regional daily to the fifth with an average circulation of 155,000.

Before taking on that role, he had worked at the Daily Mirror, the People and The Daily Herald and also launched a group of free newspapers in Manchester.

Tributes have been paid to him following his death last Saturday in Ireland, where he had moved in 1999 with his wife Molly.

Former Mercury managing director John Aldridge said: “I worked with him for many years. We had a most enjoyable partnership.

“He was a very distinguished editor who was widely known. He was a great colleague.”

Neville was known as a campaigning editor and was responsible for launching the paper’s Asian edition.

After leaving the Mercury, he was given an honorary masters degree by the University of Leicester and went on to become a press fellow at Wolfson College, in Cambridge, while he also lived for a time in Singapore.

Ather Mirza, who is now director of press at the University of Leicester, said: “Neville Stack gave me my first job out of university in the early 80s.

“I was the first reporter of South Asian origin the Mercury had taken on – at a time when it was unusual to do so – and he was careful that I was not pigeonholed into communities reporting.

“Even before I started, he asked me to carry out a comparative analysis of reporting styles between local, tabloid and broadsheets, which reflected his considered and analytical approach to journalism.

“He was a great editor and has inspired many journalists internationally who, like me, will remember him as a passionate and committed editor with a warm and, at times, paternalistic attitude.”


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  • November 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Mr Stack would not have lasted long in today’s environment. He was old school, did not suffer fools, stuffed his newspaper with local news and was a stickler for accuracy.
    His paper may have looked old-fashioned for the time but it was loved by the people of Leicestershire. It had nine editions, the last of which went to press at 4pm.
    Mr Stack would have been saddened by the dramatic decline in the newspaper industry. After all, it was only 25 years ago that he was editing a paper which sold more than 150,000 copies a night.

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  • November 1, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    My own debt of honour to Neville Stack: he wrote me the most courteous job rejection letter I have ever received! He had a strict policy of only taking on trainees with Leicester connections, and fair play to him for that.

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