Obituary: Peter Hollinson

Peter Hollinson was a journalist of the old school, a fraternity which is diminishing with age. His many talents, ranging from work on the stone to motivating hard-working reporters, were at the heart of a significant breakthrough in provincial newspaper publishing - the emergence of a Sunday title which truly reflects the people and places it serves.

The launch of Wales on Sunday in 1989 was a brave venture not without risk, because of competition from national titles. As assistant editor Hollinson was at the sharp end and his successful efforts led to his appointment as Editor in 1991. Under his leadership, the circulation of the Cardiff- based paper climbed steadily from worryingly low figures and now stands at more than 65,000. Many of the 30-odd awards won by the paper owe much to his skills and dedication.

The paper is a stablemate of the Western Mail and the South Wales Echo, the three former Thomson regional newspaper titles owned since last year by Trinity International.

Hollinson came into journalism at the age of 17 with three O levels. He was a trainee on the Bolton Evening News, and stints on the sub-editors' desks of the Daily Mail in Manchester and on the Sun in London led to a succession of production posts culminating in the demanding role of chief sub-editor on the Sunday Mirror, his last job before moving to Cardiff to launch Wales on Sunday.

He was brought up in the days of hot-metal setting, an apprenticeship cherished by many journalists. However he made the transition to computer technology with consummate ease.

Hollinson's hard work and enthusiasm at Wales on Sunday won the affection of his staff. Following his untimely death after a long battle against cancer, the broadcaster John Humphreys, who once worked on the Western Mail, said of him: "Peter Hollinson was a rare combination of a tough journalist with a very human side."

Peter Hollinson, journalist: born 24 May 1945; married Candy Clegg (two daughters); died Cardiff 8 April 1996.

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