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Editor who was once the longest-serving in the UK dies aged 74

Ian McCormackAn editor who was the longest-serving in the UK at the time of his retirement two years ago has died aged 74.

Tributes have been paid to Ian McCormack, pictured, who ran the West Highland Free Press for 44 years of out its 50-year history.

During his career, he oversaw the production of 2,290 editions of the paper.

Ian’s death was announced in a social media post by the WHFP on Thursday.

In the statement, the paper said: “A very sad day for all connected with the Free Press as we bring news of the passing of Ian McCormack.

“Ian, who retired in January 2020, made an immeasurable contribution to his community and to Scottish journalism as editor of the paper for 44 of its 50 years. We will miss him.”

Ian began his career at the Kilmarnock Standard and later worked on Glasgow-based daily The Herald before moving to the Highlands.

He joined the Free Press as a reporter in October 1975, before being promoted a few months later to replace the departing Calum Neish.

It is estimated he edited more than 60,000 pages and looked over 75 million words during a four-decade period with the title, which is based at Broadford, on the Isle of Skye.

Following his retirement, Ian was awarded both a Special Recognition Award at the Highlands and Islands Media Awards and the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Scottish Press Awards.

Former colleagues at the WHFP have paid tribute on Twitter.

Frank Rennie wrote: “He was a lovely man and great to work with. I crafted my earliest feature articles for the WHFP under his watch.  A memorable contribution to the Highlands and Islands.”

The paper’s managing director Paul Wood added: “My friend and one of main reasons the Free Press made it to 50.”