THE editor of the Press and Journal newspaper is to retire, after 18 years at the helm of the Aberdeen title – making him the longest-serving daily newspaper editor in Scotland.
Derek Tucker is due to step down on the 14th of January.
Under his leadership, the Press and Journal has risen to be the third highest-selling regional daily newspaper in the UK, behind his previous paper – the Express and Star in Wolverhampton – and the second-placed Liverpool Echo. Last year, it was named ‘Newspaper of the Year (circ above 40,000)’ at the Regional Press Awards, run by the Press Gazette.
He is quoted, in his own paper, saying that what has made him most proud is the fund-raising for local community groups: “We have raised something like £10 million for good causes in my time, including £5 million for the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, Friends of Anchor, Saving Sight in Grampian, Ucan and now the appeal for a Maggie’s cancer centre in Aberdeen.
“Our Gift of Life campaign encouraged 5000 people to sign the organ donor register and thousands more joined the Anthony Nolan Trust’s register of potential bone marrow donors because of the Millie Forbes appeal.
“It has given me an enormous amount of pleasure to see these things happen – not because of anything I did but because of what it says about the readers of the Press and Journal and the sense that this is very much their local paper.”
Liverpool-born Tucker – a former flight lieutenant in the RAF Volunteer Reserve, who served in the original Gulf War – has completed two terms on the Press Complaints Commission, been chair of the Scottish Daily Newspaper Society Editors’ Committee, was appointed a Burgess of the Guild of the City of Aberdeen six years ago and awarded an honorary doctorate by Aberdeen University three years ago.