Some sentiments from MediaGuardian's Organ Grinder which I'm sure will be echoed by many members here...
Mike Neville, Tyne Tees TV's best known presenter, who is stepping down after more than 40 years in the business, is an iconic figure in the north east, where he has been the face of both ITV and BBC regional news at different times. The question is, will we ever see the 69 year old's like again, with the regional identity of once independent company's such as Tyne Tees now increasingly diluted within ITV plc?
Regional news presenters for both ITV and the BBC can become local stars and provide a key link between viewers and broadcasters - personally, no evening seemed to be complete when I was growing up in west Yorkshire in the 80s without BBC Look North's Harry Gration and Judith Stamper. I know Richard Whiteley was on the other side fronting Yorkshire TV's Calendar - what can I say? I grew up in a BBC household.
In the 70s with Nationwide, the BBC also gave regional presenters, including Neville, a chance to shine on the network TV stage.
And regional TV has been a launch pad for the careers of many who went on to success in network TV - graduates of Look North include Mike Smartt, Philip Hayton, Mike McCarthy and Sophie Raworth.
But many others, including Neville, have stayed in regional TV, doing an important job and building a special bond with audiences around the country. Everyone can probably associate with a similar character from their region.
However, with the regional identity's of the old ITV companies already submerged into a single network brand and the broadcaster's continuing commitment to regional news in question, are the days of healthy competition between the likes of the north east's Mike Neville and Paul Frost a thing of the past?