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Columnist leaves daily after 20 years following changeover in editors

Alex KaneA changeover in editors has prompted a columnist to announce his departure from a regional daily after 20 years.

Alex Kane has revealed he is stepping down from writing for the Belfast News Letter after two decades penning a column for the newspaper.

Alex, pictured, says his decision to bid farewell after a year of thought came after editor Alistair Bushe left the News Letter to become Reach plc’s senior editor in Ireland.

Ben Lowry is currently listed as acting editor and HTFP has approached News Letter owner JPIMedia for an update on when a permanent replacement for Alistair will be announced.

In a farewell column, Alex wrote: “After twenty years, six editors, about a million words and a thousand or so columns, this is the last one.

“Stepping down from a column after such a long time was never going to be easy and I really appreciate the fact I was asked—a number of times as it happens—to reconsider the decision.

“But it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a year or so and the combination of a 20-year run and changeover of editor seemed the perfect moment to slip quietly through the net.”

Alex went on to pay tribute to Ben and News Letter political editor Sam McBride, as well as the editors he had worked under, describing it as “an honour and a privilege.”

He added: “I know you’ll understand if I finish with a final nod to my mum and dad. I would never have become a columnist anywhere had it not been for their efforts. Firstly, for rescuing me from the orphanage; and then for ignoring the psychiatrist’s report and working day and night to find the voice they always believed was deep inside and longing to be heard.

“And while it will no longer be heard in the News Letter, it will still be heard.”