As it approaches its first anniversary, Abu Dhabi-based English language daily The National, edited by Martin Newland, is losing one of its most senior journalists, executive editor Colin Randall.
The former Daily Telegraph Paris bureau chief is quitting his £135,000-a-year tax free job to return to France, which he these days regards as home.
He will continue to write for The National as a contributing editor.
He told Axegrinder: ‘It is purely my choice. I have been writing more in recent months and wish to concentrate on that, chiefly for The National but also for my sites, which already attract large numbers of visitors but could, with time to devote to them, develop significantly.
‘I would not have missed the past 17 months, and the thrill of being involved in the launch of a great newspaper, for anything and will always be deeply grateful to Martin Newland for wanting me to play a part.”
Randall is author of the newspaper’s Style Guide and two weekly columns: one on the use of English; the other offering reflections on life in the Middle East.
He began his career in the North East in 1967, as a reporter on the Evening Despatch and The Northern Echo. In 1973, he was appointed chief reporter of the bi-weekly Harrow Observer in London before joining the Press Association as a reporter.
From 1977 to 2006, he worked on the Daily Telegraph as regional reporter, head office reporter, chief reporter, executive news editor and Paris bureau chief, where he also gave lectures to French journalism students.
After being made redundant from the Telegraph, he worked as a freelance writer based in the south of France, and also developed the Salut! group of websites, which now cover life in France and the Middle East, as well as sporting and musical interests.
This week, Randall’s Salut! website celebrated its 200,000th hit since, as he describes it, ‘it staggered to its feet from the ashes of my Daily Telegraph career at the beginning of October 2006″.