Northcliffe's top two have announced their retirement today. Managing director Michael Pelosi is to be replaced by Steve Auckland, MD at Metro. Deputy MD Alex Leys, one of the industry's larger than life characters, is also retiring. I have worked with both men who have made their own unique contribution to the industry. Alex was a fearsome character who edited the Leicester Mercury, ran UK News and spawned countless editors in his image. Michael was a thoughtful MD who was keen to reward editorial during difficult times. When I was running a conference for his editors, after they had been through some tough cost-cutting, he told me I wanted an event that both stimulated but was enjoyable. "Without good editorial, we simply do not have a business," he said. And that was always the Northcliffe way. There is clearly an interesting time ahead for the group ... and for the industry. The news comes two days after John Fry announced his retirement from Johnston Press. I wish them well.