A major editorial reshuffle is under way in Trinity Mirror after Manchester Evening News editor-in-chief Rob Irvine announced he was standing down.
Helen Dalby and Sarah Lester, heads of digital in the North East and Manchester respectively, will also step up to become the senior editor in their centres.
He said: “It has been a privilege to be editor of the Manchester Evening News and to have led such a talented team of journalists. We have tackled the ever-changing landscape of multi-media journalism to build a local, national and global audience. What matters to our readers matters to us.
“We offered a place for the people of Greater Manchester to come together when our city suffered a murderous act of terror which claimed 22 innocent lives in May last year.
“We raised millions of pounds for the bereaved and those most affected, and through our We Stand Together campaign we are helping to heal our city’s wounds. Now it’s time for me to hand over the reins.”
He spent seven years as Daily Post editor in Llandudno before landing the MEN job, widely seen as one of the biggest in regional jounalism.
Trinity Mirror Regionals editorial director Alan Edmunds said: “Rob has been an outstanding editor of the MEN and the skill and sensitivity with which he steered the coverage of last year’s Arena atrocity, championing the incredible spirit of Manchester, was testament to that.
“He leaves with our huge thanks and very best wishes.”
Alan described Darren as “one of the company’s leading editors-in-chief and will be terrific in his new role”.
He added: “He knows the region very well, having started his career on the Huddersfield Examiner, and is relishing such a fantastic opportunity. Darren pioneered our hyperlocal strategy when editor in Teesside and led the implementation of our digital-first newsroom model in Newcastle ahead of it being rolled out across our regional centres.
“Neil’s vast experience and skill also equip him brilliantly to make the most of the new opportunities created by leading a wider region.
“I’m also delighted for Helen and Sarah. They have both been key to much of our digital success and will do a superb job of helping to lead us through more change.”