The man who worked his way up from office clerk to be managing director of the Sunderland Echo has died.
Ron Wood passed away just two days after his 87th birthday.
Mr Wood worked for the Echo for more than 40 years, starting as a clerk in the paper’s old building in Bridge Street.
He ran the accounts department and, as manager, he oversaw the paper’s move from the city centre to the printing plant and offices at Pennywell, where it remained until earlier this year.
He was in charge of the Echo when it became the first regional daily paper in the country to use full colour on its front page, thanks to new technology, and also secured contracts to print national newspapers on the presses at Pennywell.
At the end of his career he was responsible for not only the Echo but also its then sister paper The Hartlepool Mail, when the titles were owned by Portsmouth and Sunderland newspapers.
Mr Wood, who was born in Cleadon and raised in East Boldon, is survived by wife Renee; son Duncan, a former Echo reporter who now presents for ITV; and brother Graham.
He was married for 61 years, living for the most part in Roker.
Mr Wood had spent the last 15 months at the Holy Cross care home in Ettrick Grove. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease seven years ago.
His funeral will be held at St George’s United Reformed Church on Stockton Road, Sunderland, on Tuesday, January 5, at 12.15pm with cremation at Sunderland crematorium at 1pm.