AddThis SmartLayers

Regional editor to take on new role in publisher’s US expansion

Ryan Smith 2022The editor of a regional news website is taking on a new role in the first appointment to be made as part of its publisher’s expansion into America.

Belfast Live editor Ryan Smith has confirmed he will be taking the role of launch editor at Reach plc’s Irish Star, a New York-based website to be aimed at Irish-American readers.

Ryan’s move comes after he revealed last month he would be leaving Belfast Live aftet two years in charge to take on a new Reach project, with Sheena McStravick taking over as editor.

The publisher announced the transatlantic expansion on Thursday in a move that is set to create a raft of new jobs and will also give regional journalists the opportunity of taking secondments in the USA.

Reach has also confirmed that regional press stalwart Neil Hodgkinson, who took up the role of audience and content director (sport) for Reach in the summer, will lead a planned increase in sports coverage as part of the project.

Neil, a former editor of tyhe Yorkshire Evening Post, Carlisle News & Star and Hull Daily Mail, will continue to be based in the UK.

Posting on Twitter, Ryan wrote: “Excited to be moving to New York in the new year as editor of our new launch in the US, Irish Star.

“We’ll have reporters in NY, Boston, Pennsylvania and Ireland catering to the Irish-American community.”

As well as its national titles the Mirror and the Express, the expansion plans involve regional titles including the Manchester Evening News, Football.London and the website, with the aim of offering 24/7 coverage in a bid to appeal to US soccer fans.

However it is understood that while there will be some new jobs available at those titles, none in the current tranche will actually be based in the US.

Reach has also yet to reveal precisely how many new jobs will be created by the plan, although it has confirmed that reporting, social media, multimedia and editor roles will be among those on offer.

Other senior journalists involved in leading the expansion plans include former MyLondon editorial director Liz Hazelton, now editorial director of the Express, nationals audience director Ben Rankin, and Chris Sherrard, audience and content director for Reach Ireland and the North West of England.