Rob Irvine, editor of the North Wales Daily Post, is to take over as editor of the MEN as part of a dramatic series of changes announced yesterday.
Succeeding Rob as editor of the Post is Alison Gow, currently editor of Wales on Sunday, while her role goes to Media Wales business development chief Simon Farrington.
The changes, announced by Trinity’s North West and Wales managing director Steve Anderson Dixon, follow yesterday’s axeing of the company’s two divisional MDs for the North West and North-East.
Maria, who has been at the MEN for 14 years, was appointed to the editor’s job shortly after Trinity Mirror took over the title from GMG Regional Media in 2010.
She oversaw the editorial move from the paper’s city centre offices to Chadderton, launched a successful weekly business magazine and has presided over record online audience figures for the MEN website.
Said Maria: “This has been a really difficult decision for me to make as I am exceptionally proud of the MEN Media team and everything we have achieved together, but feel the time is now right for me to go.
“I leave with very fond memories and a wish for the business to go from strength to strength as it repositions itself in this digital age. My successor will not find a more dedicated or talented newsroom.”
Steve Anderson Dixon said: “I’m naturally disappointed at Maria’s decision as she is an exceptional editor with an ability to lead and inspire the newsroom, and she will be greatly missed. I would like to wish her all the very best for the future.
“I’m delighted that Rob will be taking over at the helm of MEN Media. He is an accomplished and proven editor who offers a tremendous amount of experience. He has done an excellent job with the Daily Post and I wish him all the best in his new role as editor-in-chief of the MEN and its portfolio of weekly titles.”
Stockport-born Rob, who will also assume a wider editorial responsibility for the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, moves to the MEN after seven years at the Daily Post.
He said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in North Wales and would like to thank my colleagues for all their hard work in driving the continuing success of the Daily Post Wales and its sister titles and websites.
“My move to Manchester offers great new challenges. I feel honoured and privileged to be given the opportunity to edit the Manchester Evening News, a newspaper which I grew up with and which I have always admired. Similarly, I know the MEN weeklies are very committed to the communities they serve and I look forward to supporting their future development.”
The reshuffle means a move back to the North West for Alison, who was deputy editor of the Liverpool Echo before taking over at Wales on Sunday a year ago.
She said: “Editing Wales on Sunday and WalesOnline has been a brilliant experience; I got to work with and learn from some of the best people in the business. Plus Wales won the Grand Slam – you can’t ask for much more!”
Pembrokeshire-born Alison added: “I’m delighted to be joining the Daily Post; it’s a great title, both online and in print, with a strong tradition of excellent journalism, and a real understanding of the community it serves. I’m looking forward to being a part of that and, of course, to living in such a beautiful area of the country.”
Succeeding Alison as editor of Wales on Sunday will be Simon Farrington while Ceri Gould is promoted to the role of editor, WalesOnline.
Simon said: “I’m delighted to take up the editorship of Wales on Sunday and I’m looking forward to both maintaining and developing the unique Welsh flavour of the paper in a highly competitive Sunday market.”
Added Ceri: “I’m so excited to be working even more closely with the talented WalesOnline team and help be a part of its continued success.”
Steve added: “It gives me great pleasure to announce these appointments today.
“Alison, Simon and Ceri come with a solid pedigree in the Welsh media and will bring their invaluable insight, experience and journalistic judgement to their new roles. I wish them all the very best in their new positions.”