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Derek Rogers

Posted: November 11th, 2013

DEREK ROGERS, AMP committee stalwart and highly respected industry figure, died on October 22 (2013). Tributes from AMP chairman Tom Brown and ex-MGN director Brian Downing, OBE, follow this obituary:

Derek Rogers joined Associated Newspapers in 1962 to sell classified ads for the Evening News. After two years he moved to Weekend’s display advertisement department. He joined the Thompson Organisation in 1964 to help with the launch of Family Circle magazine, and in 1966 joined Woman’s Own.

In 1968 he moved to Tit-Bits – then the oldest magazine in the IPC portfolio – as advertisement manager and helped design the re-launch into colour. In 1969 Derek was appointed sales controller of Mirror Magazine, and when the title closed he was appointed group advertisement controller for Mirror Group Newspapers. Following the re-organisation of the sales force at Mirror Group, in 1979 he was made group circulation sales director.

Ten years later, at the invitation of Sir James Goldsmith, he joined the board of Cavenham Communications as marketing director and helped with the planning and launch of Now! magazine. When it closed two years later he moved to News International as marketing director of The Sun and News of the World at the time of the launch of bingo in both titles.

During his long and successful career, Derek served on several major industry committees. After retirement he became a consultant to a number of small companies, and was a member of the Hertford Writers’ Circle. He renewed his contacts with the newspaper business when he joined the committee of the AMP – and quickly became invaluable.

Derek enjoyed a number of hobbies including geneology, writing fiction and a marketing blog. A devoted family man, he celebrated his Golden Wedding with his wife Jean three years ago. He also leaves three daughters

AMP Chairman Tom Brown paid this tribute:
THE shock and sense of loss felt by so many people at the death of Derek Rogers is in itself a tribute to a special man.

Others who knew him longer will be able to honour his professional talents and his long and successful career in newspapers, during which he rose to senior positions. It was a mark of the high regard in which he was held that he was asked to serve on key committees at a crucial time for the industry.

As a newcomer to the Association of Mirror Pensioners it was immediately obvious to me what an indispensable member he was. Derek was never short of concern and ideas to protect the interests of his fellow pensioners, which he followed through to the smallest detail. He was instrumental in improving our communications with members and setting up the AMP website.

Typically, Derek was personally helpful to me when I became chairman, always ready with support and advice and I shall miss his encouraging phone calls. His ability to make friends at all levels was an asset to the AMP and his reports from the company’s annual meetings were remarkably informative and shrewd.

It was especially tragic that he died on the day of our AGM addressed by the Trinity Mirror chairman David Grigson – something which Derek achieved and about which he was especially pleased.

It is often cliché to say someone will be deeply missed. In Derek’s case, it is sadly true.

From Brian Downing, OBE, former marketing director MGN, and managing director, IPC Magazines.
I was very saddened to learn of Derek’s passing. We worked together over so many years and I had a high regard for his professionalism in business.

When I was appointed advertising sales director of Mirror Magazine in 1969 I knew it was going to be a tough and demanding project. I required a high calibre sales team that could stand the pressures of the biggest ever magazine launch. I chose Derek Rogers to be the advert sales controller as I knew he would be a huge asset. He was always a team player and immensely loyal. A good salesman, hardworking and brimming with enthusiasm.

As a manager, he did not suffer fools gladly. He was tough but fair. He was a good negotiator and full of creative ideas.

Although Mirror Magazine ultimately failed, Derek was a key member of a young, bright, talented team – drawn from the Daily Mirror, IPC and television companies – which took a staggering £5million out of a receding advertising market. Some achievement!

Derek then followed me to the Daily Mirror as advert sales controller and later his role was increased to cover all the Group’s titles.

When in 1979 I was appointed the company’s first marketing director I took quite a gamble by switching Derek to run the circulation department as its director. He was by now a very experienced operator and I knew his marketing techniques would be valuable to that large and vital department.

He was brilliantly supported by Ron Cotton (who succeeded Derek as circulation director) and by the title managers. Derek’s sheer enthusiasm and drive shone through and, aided by larger issue pagination and some exceptional editorial features, the circulation decline was immediately arrested and then flourished again.

Others have paid tribute to Derek the family man and for his more recent work with the AMP.

I can only reiterate that he was definitely a team player and I was fortunate to have enjoyed his loyal support and friendship over so many years.

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