Irish Mirror editor-in-chief John “Jumbo” Kierans is stepping down as publisher Reach undergoes a significant restructure putting some 550 jobs at risk of redundancy across the group.
Reach’s operation in Ireland is not exempt from the restructure, which the company has said it is undertaking to “protect our businesses and newsbrands for the long term” following the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on its finances – as well as those of the wider news industry.
Kierans has worked at the Mirror group for 25 years. In a parting message, he said the sudden death of his father a few weeks ago had “led me to reconsider many things in my life”.
“Consequently I have had a long hard think about what I wanted to do with the rest of my day career. I have now decided to step down as Editor of the Mirror in Ireland, with immediate effect,” he said.
“I am and always will be a Mirror man. I love the paper, our websites and the many wonderful colleagues I have had the privilege of working with over the last 25 years.
“I leave the business in great shape with 87% of Irish people reading our stories in print or on our websites every single day.”
Kierans will write a weekly column for the paper, promising that he still has “plenty to say”.
Reach group editor-in-chief Lloyd Embley said: “I have had the pleasure of working with Jumbo for his entire Mirror career. His contribution to the Irish Mirror, the Irish arm of the business and the wider group has been immense.”
Chris Sherrard, who has worked on the expansion of Reach’s “Live” local news websites network, has been appointed to the new role of audience and content director for Ireland, leading the editorial operation across digital and print. He will report to chief audience officer David Higgerson.
Joanne McGreevy continues to lead the commercial side of the business, reporting to Reach managing director Alan Edmunds.