Furbisher takes over at Star from 'journalism giant' Powell

Alan Powell has stepped down as the editor of the Sheffield Star after 44 years in journalism to be replaced by acting editor John Furbisher.

Powell, 64, departs seven months after suffering a major heart attack which he recovered well from.

He became editor of the Sheffield Star in 2005 and prior to that was editor of its sister newspaper the Sheffield Telegraph.

Powell joined the Telegraph in 1989 when we was asked to reinvent the paper into a paid-for colour weekly.

He said ‘I’ve worked at the Star for more than 40 years so I’ve seen the industry change radically in that time. Like any other editor I found the job could be frustrating, very satisfying and very challenging all at the same time, as is the nature of journalism.”

Of his best achievement whilst at the paper, Powell noted its coverage of the Hillsborough football disaster. ‘Without any doubt, that was the biggest professional challenge I’ve ever had. Within 24 hours we produced a special edition of the paper, the first Star ever published on a Sunday and the subsequent reports into the disaster didn’t contradict a single thing we said, so we actually got to the heart of it within 24 hours.”

Powell remains optimistic about the journalism industry saying: ‘I’ve always been extremely buoyant about the future of journalism.”

He said: “I know the industry is going through the most difficult phase it ever had to do and I find it very sad that many local and regional newspapers have had to shed jobs. But I do think the future is assured in some form and I think we will always need journalists to provide some quality material.”

When asked what the future holds for him, Powell said: ‘I have no immediate plans and I don’t intend to retire gracefully.’

His successor Furbisher, who has been the paper’s acting editor since November.

Furbisher edited the Halifax Evening Courier for six years and his other posts include deputy editor of the Yorkshire Post and northern correspondent of the Sunday Times.

He said: ‘I’m excited and honoured to be joining The Star, a great newspaper serving a great community. Alan is a giant in Yorkshire journalism and I shall strive to carry forward his campaigning spirit.”

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