Jeremy Clifford, currently editor of The Star, Sheffield, will succeed Peter Charlton as editorial director of Yorkshire Post Newspapers and will take over as editor of the two Leeds-based dailies on 2 September.
The appointment follows a major headhunting exercise by Johnston Press that saw a number of internal and external candidates interviewed for the role, including several current and former regional editors.
But Jeremy, 48, was always seen as the front-runner and has now accepted what is widely regarded as one of the biggest and most prestigious jobs in UK regional journalism.
He said: “It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to become the editor of the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post, newspapers that carry great authority and weight in the quality of their journalism.
“The Yorkshire Post brand goes far beyond the pages of the paper and its website and is respected across many different communities.
“My ambition is to work with the journalists and the commercial teams to build on the strengths of that brand and to continue to increase our reach across Yorkshire as the most respected media organisation in the region.
“I have enjoyed immensely my time in Sheffield and will be sad to leave a great team of hard-working committed journalists,” he added.
Father-of-two Jeremy has been editor of The Star for the past two and a half years and was previously editor of the Northamptonshire Evening Telegraph.
In addition to editing The Star, Jeremy is also chairman of the editorial board of directors at JP, recently set up to provide editorial leadership and develop best practice across the group.
He will remain in that role following his move to Leeds.
Jeremy’s appointment was announced to staff on Friday in an email by JP chief executive Ashley Highfield.
Wrote Ashley: “I am delighted to announce that Jeremy Clifford has accepted the position of editorial director for Johnston Press Yorkshire.
“Jez is a hugely experienced senior editor with a solid understanding of the print and digital demands within the business and wider industry – and as chair of the new editorial board he has already proved immensely valuable to the Group. I am sure you will join me in congratulating him on his appointment.
“Jez replaces Peter Charlton who is stepping down at the end of July after more than 40 years in the regional press.
“I would like to thank Peter for his exceptional commitment, dedication and support, and wish him all the very best for the future.”
Peter announced earlier this year he was bowing out after nine years as YP editor, having added the YEP job to his role following a shake-up last year.
He originally planned to step down on 23 May but will now stay on until the end of July to enable a smoother handover to Jeremy.
Like Jeremy, Peter moved to the YP having previously been editor of The Star, and also edited the Blackpool Gazette in the course of 25 years as an editor.
In his email, Ashley told staff that an announcement about Jeremy’s replacement The Star will follow “in due course.”