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