Group editor of the Derbyshire Times for the past two years, James succeeds Jeremy Clifford who left The Star last month to take up the reins at the Yorkshire Post and Yorkshire Evening Post.
He will take up the role on 7 October and will continue as the editorial director for the South Yorkshire and North Midlands publishing unit, while also sitting on the group editorial board.
James’s appointment has triggered a wider shake-up among JP editors with his old job in Chesterfield going to Graeme Huston, currently editor of the Doncaster Free Press, South Yorkshire Times and associated titles.
As well as the DT, Graeme will have direct responsibility for the Matlock Mercury and, as group editor, overall responsibility for a series of other local weeklies including the Ripley and Heanor News, Belper News and Ilkeston Advertiser.
He will take up the new post on 30 September and all staff who previously reported to James will now report to Graeme.
Phil Bramley, who is currently assistant editor of the Derbyshire Times, will move to Mansfield to become the new editor of the Mansfield Chad, Ashfield Chad, Alfreton Chad and Hucknall Dispatch from the end of this month.
His appointment follows the departure of editor Tracy Powell, who left to become a journalism lecturer at Nottingham Trent University.
The announcement of the appointments was made by regional managing director John Bills, who said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ben Green, who has done an excellent job in his capacity as acting editor of the Chad since the departure of Tracy Powell.
“Graeme’s move means that there is now a editor vacancy in Doncaster and this will be advertised immediately.
“I’m sure you will join me in congratulating James, Graeme and Phil on their new roles and challenges and wish them every success for the future.”