One of the longest serving editors in the regional press, Doug Melloy, has retired after 27 years at the helm of the Rotherham Advertiser.
Melloy began his reporting career in 1963 for his hometown newspaper, the Blairgowrie Advertiser in Perthshire. It is was a job, Melloy said, that he got ‘by accident almost”. He said: “It wasn’t a clear decision. I was at school and an advert appeared in the local paper for a trainee journalist. I went for the interview on Saturday and started work on Monday.”
After four years at the Advertiser, Melloy moved to the Derbyshire Times, where he worked his way up the ranks becoming sports editor, chief-sub, deputy editor and then editor.
In 1985 Melloy moved to the Rotherham Advertisr, a paid-for weekly which is part of the independent Garnett Dickinson Group and currently has a sale of just under 27,000.
Melloy said: ‘I’ve worked with some cracking journalists over the years. And I’ve just left some behind now. We have a really good team that’s worked together for many years and it’s thanks to them that the paper has been the success that it has been.”
Commenting on state of the regional press in general, Melloy said: ‘Things are very difficult for revenue because people are finding other places to advertise or they’re not advertising at all because of the economic situation. But despite all that I believe that good local newspapers, particularly the weeklies have a very good chance of not only surviving but doing very well provided they invest in the editorial. If you maintain that emphasis on good journalism then there’s no reason why the papers shouldn’t succeed.”
The Rotherham Advertiser won Yorkshire’s Newspaper of the Year Award in 2011, which Melloy said was partly due to the fact the title had avoided making redundancies.
Rotherham MP Denis MacShane, a former president of the National Union of Journalists, said in the online Yorkshire Times: ‘Doug Melloy is a journalist of the old school who started as a junior reporter in his teen years and learnt the craft of journalism the hard way, covering everything from local courts to football.
‘I have had my differences with the Advertiser but have appreciated how much Doug Melloy and his team have been sensitive to the evolution of the Rotherham community and have avoided inflammatory headlines and sensationalist reporting.”
Andrew Mosley, assistant editor for Bolton News, will succeed Melloy.