After 47 years of service to the Shawnee News-Star and the community, Executive Editor Mike McCormick has announced that he will retire on Nov. 7.

After 47 years of service to the Shawnee News-Star and the community, Executive Editor Mike McCormick has announced that he will retire on Nov. 7.

“I will celebrate 47 years in October and I have enjoyed my time here,” McCormick said about his decision. “I just think it’s a great opportunity at this time to step away — to retire.”

McCormick said he’ll be able to enjoy doing other things part-time and enjoy his hobbies.

“I’ve been able to fulfill my dream as a journalist,” he added.

McCormick, now 66, began his career at the News-Star in October 1967 at the age of 19. When he started as a reporter, he was a sophomore at what was then known as St. Gregory’s College.

As a reporter he did a little bit of everything, from covering police and the courthouse to city commission. He learned to design pages and 10 years later, became city editor in 1977. In 1991, he was named top editor of the paper, a position he’s held now for the past 23 years.

With long days and a lot of nighttime hours in the newspaper business, McCormick said his wife, Pat, and daughter Meghan, who was just 10 years old when he became editor, have sacrificed a lot of their family time with him so he could fulfill his responsibilities at the News-Star, something he felt was both expected and necessary with the position he held. Over the years, the work has become more demanding with a smaller staff, he said.

And while he said he could keep working at the News-Star for several more years, he feels now is the best time to retire.

“It’s been a fulfilling career,” he said. “I’ve always looked forward to getting up and coming to work.”

McCormick said he’s always strived for fairness and accuracy.

“I’ve learned by mistakes like most anyone does,” he said. “I’ve always tried to build trust within the staff and other managers here at the News-Star and also with various sources.”

Over the course of his News-Star career, McCormick said he’s worked for six different publishers.

Current Publisher Brian Blansett said when he came to Shawnee nearly seven years ago, McCormick helped him immensely because he knew this community so well.

Blansett said he personally appreciates the dedication and commitment that McCormick has shown to the News-Star and journalism.

“His retirement is well-deserved — I hope he enjoys it to the fullest,” Blansett added.

Over the years, McCormick said he’s had the privilege of working with many different mayors, city commissions and a number of sheriffs and law enforcement officers. Many Shawnee city managers have come and gone throughout his career and he’s worked with many school superintendents.

During his career, McCormick also has been involved in various committees and boards within the community, including the Greater Shawnee Area Chamber of Commerce, where he served as chairman in 2010. He’s also served three years on the Salvation Army board and spent 15 months as Rotary Club president. He’s still involved in Rotary and remains on the Salvation Army board and is active with the chamber’s past chairman’s group, which all will continue during his retirement.

He’s also served the past 23 years on the Board of Directors of the Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives.

And while being top editor has required different types of news coverage along with managerial tasks, McCormick thinks fondly of his yearly Junior Livestock Show coverage along with his work at the International Finals Youth Rodeo.

He said this past summer marked the 30th summer in a row that he’s been involved in covering some type of national high school youth rodeo.

McCormick, who lost his father 26 years ago to cancer, said something his father said to him back then rang true.

His father told him he wouldn’t be happy with a newspaper career anywhere other than the News-Star.

“I’ve reflected on that and I think he was exactly right,” he said. “I think it will be tough to walk away but I’m ready…it’s my decision to retire.”

McCormick said while the News-Star really has been his life, his only regret is that the career he loved so much did take a lot of time away from his family, something that will change after Nov. 7. He’ll also have time for a vacation.

While McCormick plans to do some part-time work after the first of the year at Seminole State College, he’ll still have more time for his hobbies, including hunting, fishing and golf.

When asked what he’ll miss most about being at the News-Star and putting out a newspaper each day, McCormick said, “the people.”

James Bridges, who is advertising director at the News-Star, said McCormick may be retiring, but his legacy will live on for many years to come.

“Mike is someone whom I have a great respect for both personally and professionally,” Bridges said. “His ability to smile and forge on even through the hardest of times will never be forgotten. You will be missed.”