The Guardian has named Fay Schlesinger as its head of national news in a senior editorial reshuffle following deputy editor Paul Johnson’s retirement.
Schlesinger will join the title next month and will be responsible for managing editorial teams across the Guardian’s national newsdesk, UK politics team and network of regional and specialist reporters.
She will report to executive editor of news Nick Hopkins.
Schlesinger is moving back to London from her role as managing editor of California-based news and entertainment company Ozy, which she has held since 2018.
She was previously head of news at the Times, becoming the first woman and the youngest person to hold the role upon her appointment in 2015.
Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner said: “National news matters more than ever and I’m delighted that Fay has agreed to join the Guardian in one of our most important roles at this crucial time.
“Fay is a highly talented editor who brings excellent news judgment as well as a wealth of experience in leading editorial teams.”
Guardian deputy editor Paul Johnson stepped down on Thursday after 40 years with the newspaper and 25 years in the role. He was also the title’s head of news, business and sport.
In a raft of accompanying promotions, former head of investigations Nick Hopkins was appointed executive editor for news, responsible for national, international, financial, science and environment news, and all the brand’s data journalism.
Kira Cochrane was appointed executive editor, features and Caspar Llewellyn Smith was made director of digital strategy.
On joining the team, Schlesinger said: “This is an extraordinary and important time for Britain and its place in the world. The Guardian, as one of the globe’s most influential news websites and newspapers, is uniquely placed to cover it, and I’m thrilled to be joining.
“I look forward to working with the Guardian’s highly talented journalists and editors on sharp, powerful and insightful reporting and uncovering of facts that others want to remain hidden.”
Before joining the Times Schlesinger worked as a reporter at the Guardian, Daily Mail and regional titles in Yorkshire and Greater Manchester. She won the Scott Trust bursary, awarded by the Guardian Foundation to help promising journalists study for a postgraduate qualification, in 2007.