Manchester Evening News editor-in-chief Rob Irvine is stepping down after six years in the role, during which time he headed coverage of the arena terror bombing that killed 22 people.
The MEN has become the second biggest regional news website in the UK, behind only the Evening Standard, under Irvine’s editorship with more than 984,000 daily unique browsers (ABC figures for June last year).
The paper, which is owned by Trinity Mirror, helped to raise more than £2.5m to support families of the victims of the terror attack at a pop concert at Manchester Arena in May last year.
Trinity Mirror Regionals editorial director Alan Edmunds said Irvine had been an “outstanding editor”.
He added: “The skill and sensitivity with which he steered the coverage of last year’s arena atrocity, championing the incredible spirit of Manchester, was testament to that.
“He leaves with our huge thanks and very best wishes.”
Irvine said: “It has been a privilege to be editor of the Manchester Evening News and to have led such a talented team of journalists.
“We have tackled the ever-changing landscape of multi-media journalism to build a local, national and global audience. What matters to our readers, matters to us.
“We offered a place for the people of Greater Manchester to come together when our city suffered a murderous act of terror which claimed 22 innocent lives in May last year.
“We raised millions of pounds for the bereaved and those most affected, and through our We Stand Together campaign we are helping to heal our city’s wounds.
“Now it’s time for me to hand over the reins.”
Darren Thwaites, currently editor-in-chief of Trinity Mirror North East, will take over as editor-in-chief of MEN and the Huddersfield Daily Examiner at the end of March.
The Daily Examiner is edited by Wayne Ankers, who reported to Irvine. Thwaites continues in that role, but maintains Irvine’s focus on the MEN.
Said Edmunds: “Darren is one of our leading editors-in-chief and will be terrific in his new role.
“He knows the region very well, having started his career on the Huddersfield Examiner, and is relishing such a fantastic opportunity.
“Darren pioneered our hyperlocal strategy when editor in Teesside and led the implementation of our digital-first newsroom model in Newcastle ahead of it being rolled out across our regional centres.”
As part of the changes, Neil Hodgkinson, editor-in-chief of Humber and Lincolnshire, will widen his brief to include the North East.
Helen Dalby and Sarah Lester, heads of digital in the North East and Manchester respectively, will become the senior editors in their centres.
Picture: Society of Editors