Tributes have been paid after a regional daily editor lost his battle with cancer at the age of 51.
He became editor of the title last May, after four years at the helm of the Scunthorpe Telegraph, where he oversaw its switch from daily to weekly publication.
Nottingham Post publisher Steve Hollingsworth said: “Mel was one of life’s good guys – funny, friendly, hard- working, compassionate and a great editor. Even through his fight with this most cruel of illnesses Mel remained positive and pragmatic.
“He was a true friend and will be missed by all who knew him. The thoughts of everyone at the Post are with Helen, Ellie, Luke and the rest of his family at this tragic time.”
Mel began his career at the Pontefract and Castleford Express and was deputy editor at the Hull Daily Mail from 1999-2008 before joining the Scunthorpe Telegraph.
During his time at the Post, Mel oversaw the title’s move from its old offices at Castle Wharf to a new base at City Gate and he also led a transformation project to improve the paper and its website.
Mel became well-known across Nottingham following his appointment and he spoke at the annual Nottingham Post Business Awards.
He continued to work for the paper during his cancer treatment.
Derby Telegraph managing director Steve Hall said: “Mel was a brilliant newspaper man and one of the best production journalists that I have worked with in 30 years in the industry.
“He was also one of life’s gentlemen and an intensively positive individual whose cheery approach to life was uplifting and infectious.
“I was fortunate enough to not only be Mel’s colleague but also to count him as a friend and I will remember with great fondness our days playing alongside each other for the Derby Telegraph’s football and cricket teams. He will be much missed.”
Former Hull Daily Mail editor John Meehan, who worked with Mel for 13 years, added: “Mel was a consummate professional and an enormously capable all-round journalist. He had great news sense and terrific production skills. He could spot a great story and knew how to project it to best effect.
“He also achieved the rare combination of commanding the respect of his colleagues and being universally popular.
“He made things tick at the Hull Daily Mail, then went on to be a big success as editor of the Sunthorpe Telegraph.
“Mel’s death in his prime is terribly, terribly sad. He had begun to make his mark at the Nottingham Post and would have had a huge impact there. His passing is a great loss to regional journalism, the Nottingham Post and the community it serves.”
John also highlighted Mel’s commitment and professionalism in working a 23-hour shift on the day of the 9/11 terror attacks, having started at 4am to cover a major drugs bust and then working until the early hours for a special edition on the New York outrages.