Newspaper exec who brought a million classified ads a year to Nottingham Post dies aged 82

David Teague, who has died aged 82, was one of the ‘giants’ of the regional newspaper industry’s halcyon days in the 1970s and 1980s and a major contributor to the development of newspaper advertising and promotion throughout the world.

David (pictured above with his wife Raye) joined T. Bailey Forman Ltd, then owners of the Nottingham Evening Post, in 1973 as advertisement director having been lured out of London, where he was an advertising executive with The Times, by TBF’s managing director, Christopher Pole-Carew.

He went on, as one of the pioneers of a revolution in revenue generation which transformed the British regional press, to develop classified advertising in the Post. From just a handful of ‘small ads’ when he took over, by the 1980s the Post was publishing more than a million a year. He also introduced advertisement-led  colour sections and inserts years before the national newspapers.

Under Christopher Pole-Carew’s stewardship the Nottingham Evening Post was always one step ahead of the rest of the UK newspaper industry in new technology and with David Teague leading simultaneous  innovations in advertising and marketing the paper became a world leader.  This led to David Teague becoming a leading light in the  International Newspaper Promotions Association – a worldwide organisation dedicated to sharing ideas, experience and expertise.

His tireless commitment and contribution to INPA led to him becoming its President and for a decade he was in constant demand as a speaker on international newspaper industry conference platforms all over the world – especially in the USA, where he was particularly highly regarded. He rejected several job offers from American newspaper companies.

David eventually became overall marketing director of T. Bailey Forman Ltd, with the added responsibility for newspaper sales and promotion. This appointment was made at the same time as Barrie Williams became the Post’s editor and the two men formed a formidable professional partnership, establishing a host of innovative initiatives, achieving record levels of pagination and newspaper sales achievements and picking up countless industry awards.

David Teague and Barrie Williams maintained that partnership as Directors of T. Bailey Forman for 10 years. Barrie, who now lives in Cornwall having left the editorship of the Western Morning News in 2005, said: “ Teaguey, as we always called him, was a genuine one-off. They broke the mould when they made him and he went on breaking moulds himself – invariably for the better – throughout a long and distinguished life.

"He was a consummate professional, totally dedicated to the newspaper industry to which he contributed enormously, locally in Nottinghamshire, nationally in the UK  and internationally through his extraordinary worldwide reputation. Those who worked for David will remember a very hard task master but one for whom they had great respect, admiration and affection. Those who worked with him will remember a marvellously supportive colleague always ready to listen, to advise and to enthuse. Me? I will remember one of the best friends I ever had and I will really miss him.”

Educated at Archbishop Tenisons Grammar School in London, David was a fighter plotter in the RAF before moving to Zambia where he worked in the motor trade. Returning to England he joined Thomson Regional Newspapers as a trainee manager. He was then classified sales manager of the Lancashire Evening Telegraph; the Morning Telegraph and The Star, Sheffield; the Belfast Telegraph and the Scotsman and Evening News in Edinburgh . He  then became commercial advisor to the managing director at the Lancashire Evening Telegraph group and commercial controller of the Western Mail and the South Wales Echo in Cardiff before being appointed classified advertisement director of Times Newspapers in London.

He died at his home in Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire at the weekend, from cancer. After surgery, he had declined chemotherapy treatment. He leaves his wife Raye, a  journalist who was the Evening Post’s Education Correspondent , four daughters – Lyndsay, Allie, Jo and Kate and seven grandchildren.  

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