Editor moving to new role

MOVING ON: Michael Cummings is stepping down as editor of the Manawatu Standard.
MOVING ON: Michael Cummings is stepping down as editor of the Manawatu Standard.

Manawatu Standard editor Michael Cummings is stepping down after five years leading the newspaper and its website.

Cummings has been appointed editorial transformation manager for Fairfax NZ, the publisher of the Standard.

The role will see him working with editors and newsrooms around the country as they implement changes to work systems, practices and cultures as the company continues its transformation into a digitally focused business.

Cummings said he was sad to be stepping away from the Standard, but was excited at the new opportunity.

"It's no secret that print-focused media organisations all over the world are undergoing a massive transformation in order to remain relevant and sustainable in a digital world, and I'm really looking forward to helping lead that change.

"It's been an absolute privilege to be the editor of the Standard though, and walking away from the fantastic team of journalists here will without question be the hardest part."

Cummings won't be walking very far, though. His new role will be based in Palmerston North, and he says he's thrilled to be taking a positive career step without having to leave "the community I love".

He started at the Standard as a junior reporter in 2005, and was appointed deputy editor less than three years later. He became the youngest editor of a major daily newspaper in New Zealand when he took over the top job in 2009, aged 27.

The Standard's commercial manager Ken Callagher said in his time as editor Cummings had "managed the careful balance of being both a regional champion by celebrating the strengths and successes of Manawatu, and tackling the news and issues important to this region".

"As a result Michael has built a strong and dedicated newsroom that ensures our daily newspaper is playing a key role in the region and is valued by its readers, and a strong daily newspaper is a key indicator of the wellbeing of any community.

"Michael has left us in very, very good shape."

Cummings will take up his new role immediately, but will continue supporting the Standard until he formally steps down on August 15.

Manawatu Standard