Long service award for Mid-Devon chief sub after 40 years on the title

A senior figure in the Mid-Devon Advertiser Series newsroom has notched up 40 years with the title.

Stephen Taylor, Steve to his friends, joined the team on March 18 1974 as chief reporter when the Advertiser offices were in Wharf Road, Newton Abbot.

Originally from Worcestershire, Taylor entered journalism on leaving school and began his career with the Redditch Indicator.

Now the Advertiser’s chief sub-editor, Taylor also edits the Advertiser’s sister titles the Dawlish Gazette and Teignmouth News.

He enjoyed a spell as acting editor of the Advertiser until Ruth Davey took up the permanent position in 2002.

He said: 'It's been 40 years of fascinating change in the newsroom. It has been an exciting time, particularly as we have introduced several new editions in recent years, and long may it continue.'

A battle with cancer kept Taylor away from his desk for more than a year but he returned to the fold in 2010 and, despite now being eligible for a bus pass, shows no sign of leaving any time soon.

‘Steve’s vast experience has proved invaluable on more occasions than I can remember, said Mrs Davey.

‘He is a professional to the very core and I can’t imagine the newsroom without him.

‘When I’m away Steve always picks up the editor’s role with such ease and I know  his colleagues appreciate having his exhaustive knowledge to call on when needed.’

Taylor’s time with the paper has seen many changes.

In 1974 the title was part of West of England Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd.

In 1982 it was acquired by a consortium of West Country businessmen and four years later came under the Devon and Cornwall Newspapers umbrella of Tindle Newspapers Ltd, an independent family-owned group with more than 200 titles.

In 1990 the title moved to its present headquarters at the Old Manor House, Wolborough Street.

Since then the digital revolution has transformed just about everything in newspaper production.

Managing director Sandra Perraton said: ‘What hasn’t changed however is our commitment to serving the community with the news that counts.

‘Having Steve with us for all these years has really helped as very little happens in the area without him knowing about it.

‘He’s not the only colleague who’s been here for some time either. Four people have been with us for more than 20 years and another 19 have at least ten years under their belts.

‘In fact the 25 people who work at the Advertiser have between them more than 320 years’ experience of putting newspapers together.

‘In a time of rapid change that gives us a stability and maturity which ensures our readers are getting a product they know can be trusted.’

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