This week marks the end of an era at the Buchan Observer offices as editor Ken Duncan leaves Johnston Press for pastures new.
A stalwart journalist with 25 years’ experience, Ken has made the decision to leave the industry altogether and join local development trust Peterhead Projects Limited.
But the 41-year-old is leaving the paper - and our sister titles the Fraserburgh Herald, Ellon Times and Inverurie Herald - in a safe pair of hands.
Deputy editor Morag Kuc has served the papers for 28 years and now replaces her dear friend and boss at the helm.
Ken said: “Morag has been a fundamental driving force behind the Buchan Observer ever since I arrived in the office straight from school in 1989.
“We have worked together through the good times and the more difficult spells, but our commitment to providing strong local news coverage has never wavered.
“I have no doubt Morag, aided by our editorial teams, will take all the titles on to great things in the years to come.”
During their combined half-century of service, Ken and Morag have seen many changes at your favourite local newspaper.
The Buchanie was owned by family firm Scrogies when Morag and Ken joined and for many years the pair were based in the paper’s Chapel Street offices.
In 2004 Ken and Morag oversaw the Buchanie’s move to tabloid format and more recently under the ownership of Johnston Press the team decamped to our current premises down on Seagate.
Morag said: “I first met Ken when we took him on as a young trainee in 1989. I left to have my daughter in 1992 and joined the Fraserburgh Herald for seven years then returned to the Buchanie in 1999.
“Ken headed to Ayr as editor of several free titles down there, before returning in 2001 and we’ve been inseparable ever since.
“It’ll be like losing my right arm - it will be strange not doing the crossword with him, not making his coffee, and not listening to his ranting!
“However, I wish him all the very best in his new career and he’ll be right around the corner, so it’s not like the office has seen the last of him.
“Looking forward, I’ve got an excellent team of reporters across all titles who I have no doubt will continue our good work.
“And to all the people of Buchanie, my door will always be open.”
This week Ken takes up his managerial position with Peterhead Projects and he is hopeful the town is approaching the same success he predicts for the Buchanie.
He said: “This is a hugely-exciting time for Peterhead as a whole including Aberdeenshire Council’s regeneration plans and I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
“If I could hope for one thing in my new role it would be for the community to come on-board and advise me of what activities it wants its local development trust to be getting involved in.
“It boast some wonderful projects, a great team of staff and volunteers and we’re ready to take the operation to exciting new levels.”
You can read more from Ken and Morag on page 6.