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'Mixed feelings' as editor looks to new role in Australia

Sunday Herald editor Andrew Jaspan is to become editor-in-chief of the Melbourne Age.

Andrew, (51), is to make the move after being headhunted by owners Fairfax, and is expected to take up his role in the Autumn.

But although he may be looking forward to returning to Australia’s glorious sunshine, he admits it will be a wrench to leave the title which he founded in 1999.

Andrew, (right), told HoldtheFrontPage: “I have mixed feelings about moving – I have a fantastic paper and a fantastic job right now. The Sunday Herald is my baby.

“It’s very much my paper. It has got a terrific team and has been lucky in having good owners in SMG and Newsquest.”

Andrew’s new role will be his first abroad, after an extensive career in Britain, which has included stints at the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mirror in Manchester before he moved to London to work on The Times.

He also spent time on the Sunday Times before taking on his first editing role, launching the Sunday Times Scotland, and he also edited Scotland on Sunday, the Scotsman, The Observer and The Big Issue – with a circulation of 350,000 – before launching the Sunday Herald.

He is no stranger to Australia, having spent much of his childhood growing up there, first in the historic town of Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley before moving to Canberra and then Perth.

Andrew said: “I lived there between the ages of seven and fourteen-and-a-half, so feel comfortable having my boys [aged eight and 10] grow up there.

“I hadn’t been back since but had a booked trip to go there for next Christmas and New Year.

“My wife had never been and back in February, when it was it was really dark in Scotland, she said ‘why not book it?’

“My plan had been to perhaps arrange to see someone while I was over there so it’s very odd how this has happened!”

In preparation for his new role Andrew has spent two weeks in Sydney and Melbourne, where he met the current editor of The Age.

Andrew said: “I was very impressed with the papers and the city.

“It was a big decision to make to go into the unknown.

“When the opportunity came along I thought after five-and-a-half years as editor maybe it was time to try something different.

“I plan to initially go into listening and learning mode get to know senior staff and hear the views of the team. Obviously I have a couple of my own ideas but think it would be wrong to rush in.”

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