The Australian division of Fairfax has announced some massive changes to its business recently, including a plan to cut 1,900 jobs, erect paywalls, outsource subbing for some of its titles to New Zealand and take some of its broadsheets tabloid. Fairfax NZ boss Allen Williams has said it’s a case of two markets and two time frames and the shifts won’t affect the New Zealand business, but they have affected the local industry in one way because Andrew Holden, the editor of The Press in Christchurch, has been named as editor in chief of The Age in Melbourne, replacing Paul Ramadge, who resigned yesterday. In addition to Ramadge’s departure, the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Sydney Morning Herald Peter Fray and editor Amanda Wilson also left yesterday (Sean Aylmer will be the new editor-in-chief and Darren Goodsir, who is currently the editor of smh.com.au, takes on the newly created role of news director).
Holden worked on The Age in senior roles for a number of years before moving to New Zealand in 2001 and Fairfax Media’s group executive editor Paul Thompson said he has been an outstanding and award-winning editor of The Press since he was appointed in 2007.
The newspaper and its staff have won numerous major awards and received international acknowledgement after continuing to publish during the earthquakes (with the help of the Fairfax network it quite remarkably got a paper out the day ater the February quake).
“Andrew’s calm and inspirational leadership during and after the Canterbury Earthquakes skilfully steered his paper, website and staff through highly challenging times,” says Thompson. “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 and our staff extend him their warm congratulations.”
Holden will take up his new role fulltime in September. For the next two months he will split his time between Christchurch and Melbourne. And Fairfax Media will soon begin recruiting for his replacement at The Press.