The founding editor of a “trailblazing” evening newspaper has died just short of his 92nd birthday.
Ivor Lewis headed up the Evening Echo, based at Hemel Hempstead, which won more design and writing awards than any other paper in Britain during his nine-year tenure from 1967 to 1976.
The newspaper was founded by Thomson Regional Newspapers as part of a bid to create a ring of titles around the outer London commuter belt.
An Oxford graduate, Ivor was working for the Sunday Times – then also part of the Thomson group – when he was selected to spearhead the initiative.
Under his stewardship the Echo and its Luton and Dunstable sister title the Evening Post, edited by Richard Parrack, won several awards for its innovative page design and boasted a circulation of 90,000 at its peak.
It achieved two major national writing awards in two years, with John Marquis being voted Provincial Journalist of the Year in 1974 and Melanie Phillips Young Journalist of the Year in 1975.
Said John: “Both papers were printed web-offset and pioneered a new dynamic approach to regional journalism specialising in bright picture presentation and hard-hitting campaigns.
“Ivor brought together a formidable array of talent, many of whom went on to become editors themselves.”
When the Echo and Post merged into the Evening Post-Echo in 1976, Ivor was appointed TRN’s chief London editor, leading a team serving the group’s 16 daily newspapers.
He retired to his native Wales in the 1980s.
The Evening Echo merged with the Evening Post to become the Post-Echo in 1976 but was hard-hit by the rise of free sheets and closed in 1983, with the loss of 470 jobs.