Christchurch Press editor to head Melbourne Age

Last updated 13:00 26/06/2012
Fairfax Australia

In his first interview, incoming editor-in-chief Andrew Holden reveals his vision for The Age in the digital era.

Andrew Holden
Andrew Holden

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Andrew Holden, the editor of the Press in Christchurch, is to take over as editor-in-chief of The Age newspaper in Melbourne.

His appointment continues a run of major changes which have been announced across newspapers in Australia, and at Fairfax Media in particular.

The editor of The Age, Paul Ramadge resigned yesterday at the same time as the editor-in-chief/publisher and editor of the Sydney Morning Herald announced they were leaving their roles.

Holden worked on The Age in senior roles for a number of years before moving to New Zealand and The Press in 2001.

The newspaper and its staff have won numerous  major awards and  received international acknowledgement through their ability to continue to publish during a series of major earthquakes.

Fairfax Media will soon begin recruiting for his replacement at The Press.

Fairfax Media's Group Executive Editor Paul Thompson said Holden had been an outstanding and award-winning editor of The Press since he was appointed in 2007.

"Andrew's calm and inspirational leadership during and after the Canterbury Earthquakes skilfully steered his paper, website and staff through highly challenging times," Thompson said.

"That leadership was recognised again at this year's Canon Media Awards, where The Press was named Newspaper of the Year (over 30,000 circulation), and several of its journalists and feature writers were also awarded.

"His promotion is richly deserved."

Holden will take up his new role fulltime in September. For the next two months he will split his time between Christchurch and Melbourne.

While Ramadge was announcing his resignation in Melbourne yesterday, staff at the Sydney Morning Herald were being told their publisher and editor-in-chief, Peter Fray, and editor Amanda Wilson were leaving to be replaced by Sean Aylmer as the new editor-in-chief and Darren Goodsir.

Goodsir, who is currently the editor of smh.com.au, takes on the newly created role of news director.

The changes at the top of the two major newspapers follows a series of other major announcements which  include moving to paywalls for digital content, converting the broadsheet publications to compact size, closing two printing plants and shedding 1900 jobs.

The changes in editorial leadership precedes a major restructure of the newsrooms of both mastheads which will see  the end of the traditional news-gathering model  and concentration on a ''content first'' approach where the emphasis moves away from print titles and material is fashioned for use on  a variety of platforms.

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