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Randy West retires after 35 years at The Corydon Democrat

Randy West retires after 35 years at The Corydon Democrat
Randy West retires after 35 years at The Corydon Democrat
Randy West

Randy West, editor of The Corydon Democrat for 35 years, announced his retirement last week.
‘It was time to get out of the way and let the next generation lead the newspaper into the 21st century,’ said West.
A retrospective in pictures taken by West during his career appears in today’s Flair (available only on newsstands), and his farewell column is on the Opinions page.
‘I have had 35 glorious years in this business,’ said West, who lives in Corydon. ‘I’ve been in a very privileged situation. And I’m grateful for it.’
His proudest accomplishment, West said, has been producing a good community newspaper each week.
Under his leadership, The Corydon Democrat was named the Blue Ribbon non-daily newspaper by the Hoosier State Press Association a record 14 times since the award’s inception in 1972. The first award came in 1975; the most recent was in 2000. This year and last, The Corydon Democrat finished third in the state.
West, who will turn 63 on Tuesday, Dec. 20, has won numerous awards, both for his writing and photographs, from professional societies of the newspaper business.
But he downplayed those accomplishments, saying. ‘The awards just weren’t that important.’
Jonathan O’Bannon, president of O’Bannon Publishing Co.’s board of directors and publisher of this newspaper, said:
‘It will seem odd to walk through the newsroom and not see Randy’s smiling face. He has become an institution here at The Corydon Democrat because of his professionalism and his friendship. We shall all miss him.’
Judy O’Bannon, the board’s chairman, credited West with setting the standard for print media throughout the state.
‘How do we thank a man who has contributed so much to our whole community?’ she asked. ‘When you meet him on the street during the next few months, help us out on this. Please tell him what his writing has meant to you.’
Jonathan O’Bannon expressed his confidence in the remaining staff to carry on the tradition of this newspaper.
‘My confidence in the future comes from the knowledge of the 87 years of experience within the current staff,’ he said. ‘They will be able to build upon the award-winning foundation Randy created and move on quickly.’
Although West has no immediate plans for the future, he does have goals. ‘I would like to produce a photo book on Harrison County, but whether that happens or not, I don’t know,’ he said. ‘It would take more money to produce than it would make.’
He added: ‘I have no concrete plans at the moment. I’ll chill out for a while and spend more time with my wife, Diane, and my grandchildren.’
He has three grandchildren: Blake West, 10, and Baron, 5, sons of John and Sara West of Corydon, and Keegan West, 19 months, son of Donald and Clarissa West of Indianapolis.