Former Shuttle man dies, 61

'Charismatic' leader: Hugh Berlyn.

'Charismatic' leader: Hugh Berlyn.

First published in News

A FORMER trainee reporter on the Kidderminster Shuttle who rose to become the editor of the BBC's news and sport website service across England has died.

Hugh Berlyn was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in November last year and died at his home in Pershore on Monday, a week after his 61st birthday.

Mr Berlyn joined The Shuttle in 1969 and received his basic training in journalism in Kidderminster and at Harlow Technical College, achieving his National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) proficiency certificate.

He went on to work in BBC local radio as a producer at Radio WM and then editor of BBC Radio Leicester before returning to newspapers as news editor of the Leicester Mercury.

Within the Northcliffe newspaper group he became deputy editor of the Western Morning News then editor of the Gloucestershire Citizen and the South Wales Evening Post.

He returned to the BBC to lead the development of the English regions news online service, based at Pebble Mill in Birmingham. He retired in May, 2010 as editor of the BBC's news and sport website in England, covering 42 local areas. During his tenure its audience grew to more than 10 million users.

Eileen Murphy, executive editor of BBC News Online England, who worked with Mr Berlyn for a decade, said: "His passion for the highest journalistic standards and love of local news inspired all of those who worked with him to demand the best from ourselves and for our audiences.

"People will remember him as a charismatic editorial leader, who recognised talent in his teams and understood that audiences deserve the best journalism at local, national and international levels.

"Whether ruling on a tough editorial dilemma or at leisure, he would deliver his judgement with humour and the clarity that comes from being one of the best."

He leaves a wife, Lynne, a son, two daughters and six grandchildren.

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