The last editor of the Mobile Press-Register is calling it quits.

Mike Marshall, who served in a variety of positions during his decades at the P-R, including managing editor and editor, announced Dec. 22 he would be leaving as of the finish of the just-ended year.

Marshall most recently served as commentary editor for the Alabama Media Group, which oversees the various Newhouse-owned newspapers and web outlets in the state. He began serving as the paper’s editor in 1999 when former editor Stan Tiner left to head the Daily Oklahoman. He didn’t offer many details as to whether his departure was the result of more downsizing at AMG or just a desire to do something else.

“I can’t discuss the circumstances of my departure in any detail, but 40 years at one job is enough already: Time to find some other mischief to get into. I wouldn’t trade my time at the Press-Register for anything, and wish my colleagues there every success. In the short term, Anne and I look forward to goofing off for a few months,” he wrote when contacted.

While Marshall was not as regular a writer as his predecessor, he did earn recognition for a series of articles that resulted from his travels to war-torn Iraq from 2003 to 2005 — articles that offered a boots-on-the-ground look at what Alabama National Guard troops were enduring there.

As the P-R’s editorial leader Marshall helped oversee the paper’s move in 2002 to a huge new building on Water Street, complete with a new $20 million printing press. But over the next decade he would also oversee the downsizing of the print product in Mobile as Newhouse shifted its nationwide vision towards building digital dominance in the states where it owns newspapers. In July 2012 he was moved to the statewide commentary director position for AMG and a couple of months later the P-R, Birmingham News and Huntsville Times were all retracted to three-day-a-week publications.

Marshall took some local and even national criticism for helping author the infamous headline “Exciting changes for our readers,” which ran over front-page announcement the paper would no longer be printing daily and would cut staff.

He started with the Press-Register in 1973 when he was hired as a copyboy. He worked his way up to serve as a police reporter, copy editor, movie reviewer, computer systems editor, columnist, feature writer, graphic design editor, managing editor and ultimately editor. He attended Spring Hill College.

Currently Marshall also serves as president for the Alabama Press Association. He intends to carry on with the APA, he said.

“My term as prez ends in February as scheduled, and I plan to remain active on the board after that. We’ll be trying to get an amended Alabama’s open meetings law through the 2015 legislative session, for instance,” he wrote.

Halfway thinking and drawing

Press-Register’s cartoonist JD Crowe releases new book.

Press-Register’s cartoonist JD Crowe releases new book.

The Alabama Media Group’s acclaimed political cartoonist JD Crowe has released a new book titled “Half-Thunk Thoughts and Half-Fast Drawings.”

The book, released by River’s Edge Media, is compilation of random thoughts and musings that ultimately found their way to the artist’s Twitter feed and an audience of folks who look to his online presence for a daily dose of Southern humor and dry wit, along with some funny drawings.

The book is a great collection of random thoughts and pointed humor.