The founding editor of Ireland on Sunday, Mr Liam Hayes, has resigned to pursue a career in electronic publishing and technology.
Mr Hayes (38) is to be replaced by Mr Paul Drury, a former editor of the Evening Herald who worked as a consultant with the paper for the past few months.
Staff at the middle-market tabloid were surprised yesterday when both men announced the development in the newsroom of the paper's Dublin premises.
Mr Hayes said last night that, having edited the paper for the past four years, it was time to move on.
He said he could not comment on speculation that he was planning to work with Mr Cathal Dervan, the paper's former sports editor and cofounder who left recently to set up a sports Internet company. Mr Hayes confirmed, however, that he planned to work in the new media and technology sector. He said his departure from the paper was amicable and he was pleased that Mr Drury was taking over as editor.
Mr Drury left Independent News and Media late last year and was replaced by Mr Gerry O'Regan, the former editor of the Star. Mr Drury had been offered Mr O'Regan's old position, but turned it down.
Ireland on Sunday was bought by Scottish Radio Holdings (SRH) for almost £8 million six months ago. Mr Drury had been hired as an editorial consultant for the past three months and has been involved in redesigning portions of the paper.
SRH also owns 22 per cent of the profitable commercial radio station, Today FM.
SRH's group managing director, Mr Steve McLaughlin, said last night Mr Hayes's announcement came as a complete shock. He said the company had wished to move quickly to appoint a new editor. Mr Drury had impressed them with his work during the past few months.
Ireland on Sunday has been losing money despite impressive circulation growth to about 60,000.
SRH is planning a new marketing drive for the paper next month and has said it is confident it will soon become profitable.
Ireland on Sunday evolved out of the Title newspaper, founded in 1996, which was retained as a section in Ireland on Sunday.