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Brian Doel

Brian Doel, owner of the regional West Country Sunday Independent and former group managing director of Tindle Newspapers, has died.

Author: News Desk

Posted on: 19 August 2016 08:37

Brian Doel

Brian Doel spent his whole life in newspapers.

As reported by the News Media Association: Mr Doel, who retired as group managing director of Tindle Newspapers in May 2014 to return to his publication in the far South West of England died while he and his wife were in Cornwall on Saturday night.

Only hours earlier he had been assisting with the 200-year-old Sunday Independent’s latest edition, celebrating the achievements of a host of West Country Olympians.

Born in Dundee, Mr Doel spent his whole life in newspapers, serving first as a reporter on the Mid Devon Advertiser when he was 16. Then joining other Devon weekly titles, including the Sunday Independent, before moving into management when the title became part of the Mirror Newspapers' training scheme.

He later headed a consortium of local businessmen who bought out the Mirror, and the successful development of several titles around the flagship Sunday Independent, which eventually led to a long association with the Tindle group.

When he took over a majority holding in the Sunday Independent a little over two years ago, it marked a 40-year association with the paper, and he said: "The Sunday Independent was launched in 1808 and has survived Napoleon and two World Wars. It has another 200 years ahead."

Under his stewardship, the Sunday Independent became a sports and leisure-led newspaper, moving to new premises on the outskirts of Liskeard in South East Cornwall.

Sir Ray Tindle, Tindle Newspaper Group chairman, said "Brian had been a superb CEO, a brilliant editor and a friend to everyone. He was the man who took on the onerous task of running our group of almost 200 papers and radio stations when I first went down with cancer.

"He took the group including radio to new heights. I am shocked and greatly saddened by the loss of Brian".

Sports editor and editor-in-chief John Collings said: "We have all been deeply shocked by this sudden and sad news.

"Brian always played an active role in this newspaper, contributing on a daily basis and had been with us on Saturday helping to get the paper out. He just loved the Indy.

"I don’t think he could ever retire; newspapers, especially local newspapers with their communities at heart, were what drove him on.

"We are all determined to maintain his work ethos, his principles and his objectives to make the Indy even better still; it’s what he would have wanted and it’s what he will get.’

Mr Doel’s connections with Tindle also continued, as he also oversaw the business dealings of the company’s very successful local radio stations in the Channel Islands and Ireland.

Mr Doel, who was 70, is survived by his wife, Sam, and daughter, Alexandra.

No funeral details have been announced.

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