He was appointed editor at the independently-owned Mercury titles in 2004 after previously holding the deputy’s role there and has spent more than a decade as a regional press journalist.
Adrian replaces Peter Greenwood who retired from the Newsquest-owned Herald last year after three years in the chair.
He said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be asked to lead such a prestigious title and I look forward to building on the Herald’s proud tradition of campaigning community journalism.
“This is a beautiful and diverse area and a terrific place to work. I am aiming to work closely with the Craven community and get under the skin of local issues.”
Originally from Teesside, Adrian enjoyed two separate stints at the Galloway Gazette in South West Scotland before joining the Mercury.
He joined the Teesdale Mercury seven-and-a-half years ago as deputy editor and swiftly promoted to editor before launching the Wear Valley sister title.
Adrian’s replacement at the Mercury is Trevor Brookes.