John, who has been editor of the Express for four years, leaves at the same time as deputy editor Gavin Pennie, after both took voluntary redundancy.
The pair opted for VR as part of a scheme offered by Trinity Mirror in Scotland.
Meanwhile Reformer deputy editor Douglas Dickie will be promoted to the editor’s role.
Said Cheryl: “I’ve loved my time as editor of the Ayrshire Post but can’t wait to take on the challenge at Paisley and build on the good work done there by John Hutcheson and his team over the last few years.”
Kenny added: “It’s a real challenge taking on the editorship of Media Scotland’s best-selling weekly paper and Cheryl has certainly set the bar very high.
“But I know she has built a great team there and I’m looking forward to working with them.”
Irvine Herald editor Lorraine Howard is to move into a new role as commercial editor (Media Scotland Regionals) while Kilmarnock Standard editor Clair Fullarton will also assume the editorship of the Herald.
Media Scotland Publishing Director Jonathan Russell said: “These appointments reinforce Media Scotland’s commitment to our regional portfolio, both in print and online.
“Cheryl, Kenny, Douglas, Lorraine and Clair have all proved themselves in their current roles and are ready to rise to new challenges to help drive growth in our audience.”