Fairfax Media has appointed two new editors as the company undertakes a restructure of its metro editorial staff.
Judith Whelan will take over the editorship of The Sydney Morning Herald, reporting to editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir, and Paul Bailey will be editor of The Australian Financial Review, reporting to editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury.
Ms Whelan is currently news director, a position in which she leads all Herald editorial operations.
In addition to assuming the responsibility for the Herald‘s direction and its audience goals, Ms Whelan will oversee the implementation of the restructure, which is aimed at strengthening the masthead’s digital journalism.
“Judith is an inspirational and driven newsroom leader who understands implicitly the Herald’s core mission to provide quality, independent and original journalism to an increasingly digital audience,” Mr Goodsir said.
As Australian Financial Review editor, Mr Bailey will also drive digital content in the business vertical. Previously Mr Bailey oversaw content across the AFR and Business Day, published in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
In an email to staff, Fairfax group director of news and business media Sean Aylmer said the move would enable Business Day to run “as a more separate entity” within the business vertical.
“The changes will allow the Financial Review to consolidate its position as the subscriber-based premium source of business and financial news and information, and it will help Business Day build on its success as Australia’s most popular business site for retail investors and more consumer-oriented business topics,” Mr Aylmer said.
Business Day editor Mathew Dunckley will maintain his own reporters and commentators and report to the editors-in-chief of The SMH and The Age. He will also consult regularly with the editor-in-chief and editor of The AFR.
No replacement has been announced as yet for Andrew Holden, who resigned as editor-in-chief of The Age last month.
Mr Aylmer also released more detail on the newsroom management structure.
“The structure accelerates our drive into digital, where we can better connect with our growing reader base – at the same time as allowing us to make the production of our print publications more efficient,” he said.
After consultations with senior editors, staff and house committees, editors-in-chief will have four key reports:
- The editor – who is responsible for all content produced across topic sectors. Mr Aylmer said this was a digital job and the editor would run the newsroom on a day-to-day basis
- The digital editor – who is responsible for the main digital platforms. The digital editor will run the newsroom when the editor is unavailable
- The weekend editor – who will oversee print and digital content on Saturdays and Sundays and be responsible for some larger projects and planning
- The head of print & production – who will oversee the production teams and the weekday newspaper editors.
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