Vice-chairman of ecng, Geoffrey Copeman, has been made a CBE in the New Year Honours list for his services to the newspaper industry.
Geoffrey honoured with CBE
Mr Copeman, 64, first joined the Group in 1961. Initially, as works manager for ECN, he headed the project to move the business from Redwell Street in Norwich to its headquarters at Prospect House. He was promoted to the post of group development manager in 1973, responsible for identifying ways of exploiting new technology in the newspaper industry.
In 1976, Mr Copeman was appointed general manager of the East Anglian Daily Times Company and subsequently general manager of ECN, becoming group chief executive in 1982. He is currently chairman of ecng's pensions committee.
"I was surprised and delighted to be honoured," said Mr Copeman, who lives in Weston Longville, near Dereham, with his wife Bridget. "I consider it a great honour, but I am mindful that the things I have done have involved a lot of other people as well. This honour is as much the result of their effort and ability as it is mine."
Mr Copeman, who before joining ECN was a planned maintenance engineer for Colman's of Norwich, was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Norfolk in 1989. A past director of Norwich Union Group, he has served on the boards of Suffolk Group Radio, Radio Broadland and East Anglian Radio.
He is also a past director of the Press Association, a past president of the Newspaper Society and is currently vice-chairman of the governors at Norwich School and a board member of the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Company.
Last year, he received the President's Award from the Newspaper Society for services to the industry. The award has been made only half a dozen times in its history.
"The current issues facing newspapers centre on the fragmentation of the media," said Mr Copeman, who enjoys horse-riding and tennis in his spare time.
"We have more and more radio and TV stations, and magazine and newspaper groups have now got to consider themselves media groups, which embraces on-line publishing. "ecng has always been to the fore in developing media beyond newspapers and continues to be prosperous and very successful. Our newspapers themselves at the same time have shown themselves more than capable of coping with change.
"In my time, I have seen the arrival of colour on every page, better layout and a much higher story count, and I feel very lucky to have been a part of it all."