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28 July, 2020

56 year media career comes to an end.

After 56 years as a local journalist, 4AM newsreader Barry Simpson is about to call it a day.

By Phil Brandel

After 56 years as a local journalist, 4AM newsreader Barry Simpson is about to call it a day.

Barry began his career in media in November 1963, working as a paperboy for the Tablelands Advertiser, which is where he became fascinated with journalism and Linotypes. He then started cleaning the printing press and soon began a trade as a qualified Hand and Machine Compositor.

Barry said that after nearly 60 years as a journalist he has seen some major changes in the local community. “The demise of the Tobacco and Dairy Industries and redirection of the Maize industry are up there, the introduction and effects of the World Heritage listing on towns like Ravenshoe, the setup of the State's first sugar mill in over 70 years and cane growing on the Tablelands.

“I’ve also seen some local tragedies up close, including the Mt Emerald air disaster and the school bus tragedy on the Gillies Range.

Barry resigned as Managing Editor in January 2004 after working in newspapers for over 21 years to start his own business.

“After leaving the paper, my wife Lyn and I started a multimedia and marketing business in which we trained and helped with the development of local and regional tourism publications and also radio and television advertising and marketing."

In 2009 Barry started working part-time with radio station 4AM reading the news, which he has been doing 5 days a week and said that now is the time to call it a day so he can spend more time with his wife and family.

“I want to thank Lyn, my wife and soul mate of over 51 years, and our family for their never-ending support, encouragement and dedication that made it possible for me to chase my dream for so long.“

Barry will be reading the news for the final time on 4AM on Friday, July 31, then he is planning on enjoying his retirement.

“At the end of 56 years, eight months and thirteen days, I can truly say that my role has been a privilege and honour to be of service whenever I could,” he said

“I have been fortunate to be at the forefront of recording and reporting many of the region's changes, developments and incidents. So long for now and thanks for being part of my journey it truly has been appreciated.”

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