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Long-serving daily editor bows out after 19 years at helm

One of the longest-serving regional daily editors in the UK is stepping down today after almost two decades in the chair.

Ian Murray, left, announced his departure from the editorship of the Southern Daily Echo in a Twitter post last night, bringing an end to a 38-year career in the regional press.

He wrote: “So sad tomorrow my last day as editor @ Daily Echo after two wonderful decades. Time for new adventures. Gd luck all.”

The tweet was followed up by a story in today’s edition in which Ian spoke of his “heavy heart” at leaving the Newsquest-owned title.

Said Ian: “It is with a heavy heart that I am leaving what is undoubtedly one of the best regional daily newspapers in the country, but the time has come for adventures in pastures new.

“During my time here I have worked with some fantastic journalists and colleagues in other departments. Together we have chronicled the changing face of Southampton and the city region and witnessed as it has grown in confidence and stature.

“The current team at the paper are wonderful to work with and I have every confidence that they, and my successor, will take the Daily Echo and its website to even greater success.

“I have had the privilege to work with some tremendous people in the region and hope to continue playing my part in helping to make the city such a vibrant place.”

Vincent Boni, managing director of Newsquest Hampshire, Dorset and Cornwall added: “I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Ian for his contribution to the company and wish him every success in the future.”

As well as editing the Echo, Ian was editor-in-chief of Newsquest Hampshire, overseeing a number of weekly titles such as the Hampshire Chronicle, Romsey Advertiser, New Forest Post, Basingstoke Gazette and Andover Advertiser.

Ian’s is the latest in a series of senior editorial departures from Newsquest over recent months, following those of Mike Gilson from Brighton daily The Argus and Kevin Ward from the South Wales Argus.

An announcement on Ian’s successor is expected to be made “in the immediate future.”

Ian’s career in regional journalism began in 1979 at Berrows Newspapers in the West Midlands, and he worked at the Stourbridge County Express before becoming editor of the Kidderminster Shuttle.

He took on the editorship of the Echo in 1998, moving from sister title the Bournemouth Echo where he was managing editor.

Ian has also played a wider role industry role in recent years, becoming president of the Society of Editors in 2013 and helping spearhead campaigns for editorial freedom.

He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Media Studies by Southampton Solent University in 2014.


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  • March 3, 2017 at 10:06 am

    All good wishes to Ian , yet another top quality editor leaving the industry, the regional press ‘ proper editor’ gene pool is being watered down so much soon there’ll be no real editors left.

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  • March 3, 2017 at 10:20 am

    Another experienced head gone, I expect Arnold from Different Strokes to be appointed the new digital exec discombobulation editor with immediate effect, with responsibility for 286 newspapers from Land’s End to the Egyptian Cataracts.

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  • March 3, 2017 at 11:28 am

    I wonder how many of the new wave of Editors Lite or Group Editor will last 19 years?
    …..or 19 months?
    In some cases 19 weeks?
    They ought to make him (ahem) ‘ editor emeritus’

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  • March 3, 2017 at 11:47 am

    @ From the Word furnace

    Unfortunately many of the titles will not be around in 19 years’ time. Have you seen the dire circulation figures published on this site only about a week ago? The Southern Daily Echo is down to 16,400.

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  • March 3, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Indeed @delighted to be
    It’s a toss up to see whether the paper converts to online only, goes free or is closed altogether, one things for sure, in austere times when all costs and overheads are being scrutinised underperforming titles and staff will be under increased pressure to improve dramatically or go, and with copy sales in free fall and the readership and advertising markets both collapsed it’s just a matter of time.
    Watch this space for more announcements of closure as the weeks go by, meantime my very best wishes to Ian who’s post this is

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  • March 3, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Good luck Ian. Scary to see how much hair we’ve both lost since those youthful early days at the County Express! TC

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  • March 3, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Is leaving for ‘adventures in pastures new’ a euphemism for given the push with some hush money?
    It’s odd he should leave the job he loves for no specific job. No mention of retirement. Another one eased out of the door without any boat-rocking, I suspect.

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  • March 3, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    I had the pleasure of working with Ian, at the Echo, for a number of years, so sad that yet another personality has gone, their loss Ian. Wishing you all the very best.

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  • March 3, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    what a record . well done. The industry can ill afford to lose such experience. good luck.

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  • March 6, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Ian is a massive loss to the Echo, Newsquest and the industry. Good luck to you Ian in whatever lies next.

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