Newsletter editor to step down in Autumn

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The editor of Sentinel sister-paper, the Belfast Newsletter, is to take early retirement.

Rankin Armstrong, who has been in charge of the editorial team at the paper for almost four years, will step down in the autumn after 44 years in the industry.

He said: “I have enjoyed my time editing the Newsletter, but I feel it is the right time to move on to a new chapter in my life”.

“I am leaving a paper that’s in good health, with a loyal print readership and a growing digital presence. These are exciting times for the business and there is a bright future ahead in the capable hands of a highly dedicated and skilled team of journalists”.

“I am proud to have been editor of such a distinguished title with a rich and enduring history and I wish all my colleagues every success in the future.”

Rankin started his career as a reporter with the Armagh Guardian in 1971, before moving on to the Portadown News/Craigavon Times in the mid-1970s.

He worked as a sub-editor with the Belfast Telegraph for 17 years, before a three-year spell as chief sub-editor with the Irish News.

He then spent a year teaching practical newspaper journalism to the first intake of students to the Post-Graduate Diploma in journalism course at the University of Ulster in 1997-1998.

Rankin joined the Newsletter in July 1998. He was appointed as assistant editor in January 1999; deputy editor in March 2007 and became acting editor in November 2011, before his appointment as editor in September 2012.

Warren Butcher, MD Johnston Press NI said: “I want to take this opportunity to thank Rankin for his service and commitment to the News Letter and take time to acknowledge and give praise for the tremendous contribution that he has given to journalism in Northern Ireland over the last 40 plus years. “Rankin is a highly regarded and respected Editor in his community and has steered the newspaper through some turbulent political times which is testament to his skill and understanding of the issues. He has certainly earned the opportunity to spend more time with his family, and he will be missed by all of his colleagues and on behalf of everyone at the News Letter and across JP NI I wish him a long and happy retirement.”

Rankin will remain in post until the autumn and a recruitment process is currently underway to appoint a successor.