Former Irish Times CEO dies aged 86

THE man who is widely credited with shaping the direction of the Irish Times over the best part of the second half of the 20th Century – Major Thomas Bleakley McDowell – died earlier this week, aged 86.

Maj McDowell became chief executive of the Irish Times Ltd, then a commercial company, in 1962 and went on to become chairman of the Irish Times Trust (a major change in the company’s structure, which he too oversaw) before retiring only eight years ago. His time at the helm of the company overlapped with the tenures of four separate editors of the newspaper.

The title’s latest editor, Geraldine Kennedy, said that Maj McDowell made “a significant contribution to the development of the Irish Times into the mainstream of Irish life”.

The company’s current managing director, Maeve O’Donovan, added that Maj McDowell had been “a newspaper publisher to his fingertips”.

Maj McDowell was personally responsible for transforming the Irish Times from a commercial company to a trust.

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