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MD who left regional publisher last year dies suddenly aged 71

davidfaulknerA newspaper chief who was managing director of a regional publishing group up until last year has died aged 71.

Tributes have been paid to David Faulkner, who stepped down from his role as MD at NWN Media in November 2017 after 50 years in regional publishing.

During his career, David also spent several years as MD of the Chester Chronicle group of titles owned by Trinity Mirror.

David, pictured, died suddenly at home on Monday evening. He leaves wife, Maureen, sons Paul & James, grandchildren William, Tommy and Darcey.

He initially entered the industry as a management trainee for the Thomson Newspapers group, then the largest publisher of regional newspapers in the country.

As well as in Chester, he also worked for Trinity Mirror in the Midlands before returning to become NWN MD in 2008.

There he was responsible for a series of titles including North Wales daily The Leader, and weeklies the Rhyl Journal, North Wales Pioneer, North Chronicle, Denbighshire Free Press, Powys County Times, Oswestry & Border Counties Advertizer and Whitchurch Herald.

David initially intended to retire in 2012, but instead stayed on after an abortive attempt by the then NWN board to sell a controlling stake in the business to Sir Ray Tindle was blocked by a High Court ruling. His eventual departure came after the company was sold to Newsquest last year.

His son Paul Faulkner said: “The family have been extremely touched by the many tributes and messages of support we have received in the past 24 hours.

“David truly was a larger than life character, who built up so many friends and contacts across the country from his distinguished 50 year career in regional papers.

“This started in Slough and took in spells in Reading, Stockport, Darlington, Norfolk, South Wales, the Midlands and of course Cheshire and North Wales, where he spent most of the latter parts of his career, raised his family and considered home.

“He always lived life to the full, whether it be his passion for working in newspapers, on the rugby pitch, the golf course, socialising with friends or spending time with his family and especially his three young grandchildren. He was the very, very best, and for us he is simply irreplaceable.”

Described as a “prominent figure in Chester”, David was also president of Chester Business Club.

Club secretary Bob Clough-Parker said: “He was an inspiring, charismatic character with a gift for leadership who did so much for not only the Club but for the local business community as a whole.

“Not least, he demonstrated great loyalty and was blessed with a knack of making friends, having fun and not taking himself too seriously. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

Details of a memorial service will be announced in due course, and anyone wanting details or to share memories can reach out to David’s family at paulfaulkner78@gmail.com

9 comments

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  • September 4, 2018 at 5:26 pm
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    So sorry to read this news. David served this industry with passion and integrity. Such a shame he didn’t have more time to enjoy his retirement. Condolences to family and friends. RIP David.
    Betty Drummond

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  • September 4, 2018 at 8:53 pm
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    One of the good guys! Lots of fond memories working with David at Eastern Counties Newspapers in the 80’s. RIP “big man”.

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  • September 5, 2018 at 7:34 am
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    One of the old guard and a real industry personality.

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  • September 5, 2018 at 8:36 am
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    Really sorry to hear this, condolences to David’s family and friends.

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  • September 5, 2018 at 8:56 am
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    A warm and friendly newspaper boss. Challenging, but a great reader and leader of people, always making those around him feel respected. One of the rare voices of reason around the Trinity Mirror Midlands boardroom in the mid-to-late 2000s. And fine memories of a night of red wine and dining at the Plas Hafod in Mold in 2011. RIP David.

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  • September 5, 2018 at 9:55 am
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    A very well respected guy,someone who knew the newspaper industry inside out, understood the business and cared about its staff and who’s sort is badly missed from today’s editorial and commercial departments.
    Happy memories of his time at Eastern Counties Newspapers and seeing him turn up for work looking slightly battered on a Monday morning after a weekends rugby action!
    Rip David

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  • September 5, 2018 at 1:27 pm
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    A genuinely superb managing director who gave you solid support, trust and excellent advice.
    I can’t begin to imagine how many of my ideas he had to sit and suffer, but he nonetheless listened to them all whether he thought they were good, bad, genius or just plain daft.
    Proper newspaper man through and through.
    MDs of David’s ilk were, and indeed are, few and far between.

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  • September 5, 2018 at 6:50 pm
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    The most gregarious man I’ve ever met and inevitably with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
    I once asked him at a boring business awards dinner if being an MD was 95% bullshit and bravado and 5% brain power – or vice versa.
    He roared with laughter and said it was obviously 95% genius but 5% bullshit takes you a long way!

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  • September 8, 2018 at 2:20 pm
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    So so sad….a great character and one of the genuine good people managers over the last few decades in the industry. They dont have many in David’s mould these days. Sincerest condolences to his family.

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