The Irish News has appointed a senior Reach journalist to be its new editor.
Chris Sherrard is currently editor-in-chief of Reach Ireland, overseeing its print and digital brands on the island including the Daily Mirror, Irish Daily Star and Belfast Live.
He has worked for Reach since 2009 and played a major part in its digital transformation, including with the launch of Irishmirror.ie in 2014 and Belfast Live a year later. He has also helped to lead Reach titles in the North of England, including as launch editor of Yorkshire Live.
Sherrard oversaw the expansion of the Irish Daily Star into the US in the past year. In total he was responsible for a 260-strong editorial team in Ireland and now the US.
Sherrard will succeed Noel Doran, who announced in June he would step down after 25 years as Irish News editor and 30 years with the title. Doran is believed to be the UK and Ireland’s current longest-serving daily newspaper editor.
Sherrard said: “As a long-time admirer and reader of the Irish News, it is my great honour to now edit this renowned newspaper.
“The Irish News is an institution, and it is an enormous privilege to be asked to lead a team of journalists known for their independent thinking, incisive analysis, and depth of quality coverage. The paper has a well-deserved reputation, built throughout the last century, of publishing journalism that matters and setting new records along the way.
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“I have the utmost respect for Noel Doran and following him as editor is not only a great honour but also brings with it a responsibility I am keenly aware of.
“These are exciting times for the organisation and, building on Noel’s editorship, I intend to lead a team and brand that is bold, confident, and designed to embrace an ambitious digital transformation journey as we write the next chapters in the Irish News’ storied history.”
‘Lengthy and thorough’ process to find new Irish News editor
Dominic Fitzpatrick, chief executive of Irish News owner Into Media, said Sherrard “brings strong experience in international and digital journalism and an impressive track record in leading talented teams of journalists across a range of print titles and news sites”.
The appointment came, he said, after a “lengthy and thorough” process looking at candidates from across the UK and Ireland.
“Chris stood out in what was a tremendously strong line-up of candidates,” Fitzpatrick said. “In his 15 years at Reach, and earlier experience at Sky and Johnston Press, he has worked in almost every editorial job in a newsroom and has shown himself to be an inspiring and courageous leader.
“He has fronted and embraced huge changes in the industry with creativity and conviction, and we are confident he is the right editor to lead our organisation into the future.”
Into Media said the Irish News, which employs more than 130 people, is an “ambitious business” that has seen the title revamped in print this year alongside “significant” investment in “talent and technology”.
“The company has an ambition to grow its digital footprint, with a key focus on quality journalism,” it said.
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