New INM editorial regime to be in place by September
Media group plans to follow Fairfax example by merging teams across titles
Independent News & Media has been looking very closely at Australia – not at its stake in Australasian media group APN this time, but at Fairfax, the publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne daily The Age, the Australian Financial Review and other titles.
As part of a major slash-and- burn, digital-first Fairfax has merged all of its publishing businesses into a single division, centralising commercial functions and adopting plans to organise teams of journalists according to the subjects they cover, rather than on a masthead-by-masthead basis.
The same style of editorial restructuring is now underway at the “platform agnostic” INM under editor-in-chief Stephen Rae, with the group’s business teams likely to become the first to merge.
A group head of news, group business editor and group sport editor are due to be in situ before the end of August.
This will pave the way for further co-operation and collaboration between the Irish Independent, the Sunday Independent and the Herald along the lines of its seven-day management of the Anglo Tapes scoop.
As part of the changes, the Sunday Independent is expected to adopt a greater focus on so-called “hard” news, without losing its love of combative comment and without jettisoning the celebrity beat.
Fionnan Sheahan, the Irish Independent’s political editor, has been among those tipped to take up the position of Indo editor – a role left vacant by Rae’s promotion to the new editor-in-chief gig – but the favourite for the post is said to be the current Herald editor Claire Grady.