A FORMER general manager of The News, described as a ‘passionate newspaper man’ by colleagues has died aged 52 after suffering a stroke.
Tributes have been paid to George Brittain, 52, who was group publishing director at Johnston Press, publisher of The News.
George had spent the past 10 years with the publisher, working in a variety of roles based in Portsmouth, Sheffield and Sunderland.
He had been in his current job since November 2016, and was responsible for JP titles in Yorkshire, the North-West, North-East, Northern Ireland and its Scottish weeklies.
Mark Waldron, the editor of The News said: ‘George started on The News at the same time as I did in 2007 and was a real pleasure to work with. Hard-working and with a real love of local papers. Although our paths crossed less frequently as he was promoted to other parts of the Johnston Press business whenever we met it was clear he had lost none of that spark. He will be sorely missed and the thoughts of all at The News are with his family.’
JP chief executive Ashley Highfield said: ‘Those fortunate enough to have worked closely with George, like myself, can tell you that he was a tenacious, principled, hard-working and a passionate newspaper man, respected and liked by colleagues and suppliers alike – and that he will be very much missed.’
George joined JP in February 2005, and spent almost three years as divisional newspaper sales director for its Northeast Press division, based in Sunderland.
He then moved to work as general manager ofThe News, before becoming group logistics director at Sheffield in October 2009. In April 2015, his role changed to that of print and logistics director, which saw George assume full responsibility for all JP print Operations in Portsmouth, Dinnington, and Northern Ireland.