A FORMER managing director of our newspaper's parent company has died.

David Robert (Robbie) Thomas, who died in hospital at the age of 78, was managing director of North North Wales Newspapers (now NWN Media) from 1962 until his retirement in 1987 when the company relocated its head office from Oswestry to Mold.

In 1973 he was instrumental in launching the then Evening Leader.

He was a former vice-chairman and editorial director of the company, having trained as a journalist with the Border Counties Advertizer and other newspapers within the group.

In 1959 he was appointed assistant general manager by Eric Thomas, his cousin and proprietor of the business.

Robbie Thomas retired to live in Switzerland with his Swiss-born wife Ruth, who died several years ago.

He was president of the Newspaper Society in 1985, and had been a key negotiator with unions at a time when industry-wide agreements were the norm.

He recently wrote: “I still have bouts of nostalgia when I think of the late night sessions with the trade unions full of smoke and beer fumes ... In retrospect a full and very enjoyable piece of my life.”

He leaves three daughters and a son as well as two grandaughters and a grandson.