'Evening Herald' editor to take over at 'Irish Independent' from O'Regan
INDEPENDENT NEWS & Media has announced Evening Herald editor Stephen Rae is to replace Gerry O’Regan as editor of the Irish Independent with immediate effect following the latter’s retirement.
Mr Rae’s appointment comes after a change of management at INM following the exit of Gavin O’Reilly as chief executive earlier this year and a shareholders’ ousting of former chairman James Osborne in June.
INM’s new chief executive Vincent Crowley is embarking on a series of cost-cutting measures at the group, including an oversubscribed voluntary redundancy scheme at the Sunday World, as it seeks to reduce its debts. The change in the editor’s chair follows last week’s appointment of Leslie Buckley, a close associate of the group’s largest shareholder, Denis O’Brien, as chairman.
By moving from editor of INM’s Evening Herald to the Irish Independent job, Mr Rae is mirroring the career path taken by his predecessor in 2005.
Before becoming Herald editor Mr Rae was its deputy news editor, and served as its security correspondent. From Castlemaine, Co Kerry, he is a graduate of the DIT School of Journalism, and qualified as a barrister at King’s Inns, Dublin, in 1996. He also formerly edited the Garda Review.
Circulation of the Evening Herald has declined from 85,756 to 61,179 copies over the course of Mr Rae’s tenure – partly as a result of competition from the Metro Herald freesheet, but largely due to competition from free online news outlets breaking news throughout the day. Over the past year circulation dropped by just 1.2 per cent – a much better performance than the market average.
Mr O’Regan (62), will continue his association with the newspaper as a columnist and contributor. Chief executive of INM (Ireland) Joe Webb thanked Mr O’Regan for his “unstinting contribution during his time as editor of the Irish Independent, the Evening Herald and the Irish Daily Star”.