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Award-winning editor and regional press ‘legend’ dies aged 68

Mike LoweA multiple award-winning regional press editor, described as a “legend” by former colleagues, has died aged 68.

Tributes have been paid to Mike Lowe, who edited Gloucester daily The Citizen, the Derby Telegraph and the Bristol Post during his career.

He later ran Cotswold Life magazine between 2006 and 2020.

Mike’s death was confirmed on his Twitter account earlier this evening by his wife Helen.

She wrote: “I expect many of you may have heard by now but I’m sorry to have to tell you that Mike passed away peacefully yesterday afternoon after a short illness.

“On top of all the other problems he has endured the past few years it was just too much for him. The end of an era.”

Mike spent two decades with Northcliffe, initially joining the publisher in 1982 as a sports writer in Lincoln before moving to the Hull Daily Mail and The Sentinel in Stoke-on-Trent.

He then edited The Citizen, the Telegraph and the Post, winning several industry awards in the process.

A number of journalists who worked under him later went on to edit regional daily titles themselves.

Simon O’Neill, who worked at the Telegraph and later became editor of the Oxford Mail, posted on Twitter: “Terribly sad news about my old boss. One of a kind is putting it mildly.

“Learned so much working for him at Derby.”

Nub News editorial director Mike Sassi, who also worked with him in Derby, called him a “great, great editor”.

He said: “His leadership was exceptional. His sense of humour was even better.

“It was an absolute privilege to have worked with him.”

Richrd Bowyer, former editor of Stoke-on-Trent daily The Sentinel, added: “He taught me so much and I have a great deal to thank him for in helping my career.

“A brilliant editor and great, great, company. So many brilliant memories.”

Former Leicester Mercury editor Nick Carter described Mike’s death as “a dreadful shock”.

He wrote: “Had the privilege of being in the same band of Northcliffe editors in what turned out to be the last, best years of our industry.

“Mike was a legend – and a damn-good newspaperman.”

Mike left Archant-owned Cotswold Life in December 2020, but denied at the time he was retiring.

Candia McCormack, his successor at the Cheltenham-based title, said: “What a man. We all have so much to be grateful to him for… the laughter, the tears and everything in between. He will be so missed.”

Hereford Times editor John Wilson wrote: “I worked with Mike when he was chief sub of the Derby Evening Telegraph and I was a young reporter, and later when I was chief sub of the Bristol Evening Post and he the editor.

“His wit was as sharp as his sub’s pencil. One of the foremost editors of his generation. So very sad.”

Helen had known Mike since primary school and the couple had been together for 20 years.

She has asked for no flowers, but said a “small donation to your local food bank would make him and me happy”.