Alan Turner: broadcast journalist and deputy news editor, Heart FM

Tributes have been paid to a former news editor of Coventry’s Mercia FM who has died aged 52.

Alan Turner, of Coleshill, died last week following an 18-month battle against cancer of the oesophagus.

A former reporter for the Tamworth Herald and Castle Bromwich News, Turner then joined Mercia and stayed there for 13 years.

He started as a news reporter with the station when it first launched in 1980 and was promoted seven years later to deputy news editor.

He was news editor for two years before being made redundant in 1993 as part of a reshuffle when Midlands Radio was sold to Capital Radio.

The following year, he joined the team at Heart FM, in the months before the radio station went on air.

He started as a senior broadcast journalist and went on to become deputy news editor.

Heart FM news editor Chris Kowalik paid tribute to his colleague.

He said: “There were two sides to Alan. He had a brash exterior, but once you got past that, you found out he was a great friend who could keep a secret and he was a really lovely guy.

“He was the oldest member of this newsroom, but at the same time he was the youngest at heart. He led a full and rich life.”

Former Mercia managing director Stuart Linnell, who worked with Turner at the station for more than a decade, said: “He was an excellent radio journalist who was at Mercia from the start and colleagues will remember him very fondly.

“It is so tragic that someone with Alan’s talent and ability should leave us so soon.”

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