The Irish News names Chris Sherrard as new editor

Chris Sherrard will become the new editor of The Irish News
Chris Sherrard will become the new editor of The Irish News

REACH Ireland editor-in-chief Chris Sherrard (42) has been named as successor to Noel Doran as editor of The Irish News.

He has worked since 2009 in a variety of editorial roles at Reach plc, most recently as editor-in-chief, overseeing a large portfolio of print and digital titles across the island of Ireland, including the Daily Mirror, Irish Daily Star and Belfast Live.

Under his leadership, Reach has become the biggest digital news publisher in Ireland.

He spearheaded the company’s digital transformation, launching in 2014 and Belfast Live the following year, leading both titles to become the biggest commercial news websites in Ireland.

His appointment comes after Mr Doran, who is considered as one of the country’s most experienced and respected journalists, announced earlier this year that he was stepping down next April after 30 years with the publication.

Mr Doran will continue to have a close association with the paper.

Mr Sherrard said: “As a long-time admirer and reader of the Irish News, it is my great honour to now edit this renowned newspaper.

“The Irish News is an institution, and it is an enormous privilege to be asked to lead a team of journalists known for their independent thinking, incisive analysis, and depth of quality coverage.

“The paper has a well-deserved reputation, built throughout the last century, of publishing journalism that matters and setting new records along the way.”

He added: “I have the utmost respect for Noel Doran, and following him as editor is not only a great honour but also brings with it a responsibility I am keenly aware of.

“These are exciting times for the organisation and, building on Noel's editorship, I intend to lead a team and brand that is bold, confident, and designed to embrace an ambitious digital transformation journey as we write the next chapters in the Irish News’ storied history.”

Mr Sherrard became editor-in-chief of Reach Ireland in 2020, and recently launched new and successful digital-only brands in Galway and the USA whilst maintaining a robust print performance across three national daily newspapers.

At Reach he was responsible for a 260-strong editorial team, overseeing all journalism, print and digital, across Ireland, and the US since it expanded globally under his direction.

In his career at Reach, he was also credited with leading the company's digital titles in the north of England, including the Manchester Evening News and Liverpool Echo, and he was the launch editor of Yorkshire Live which promptly became one of the biggest news websites in the UK.

Dominic Fitzpatrick, chief executive of Irish News owner IntoMedia, said: “Chris brings strong experience in international and digital journalism and an impressive track record in leading talented teams of journalists across a range of print titles and news sites.

“The search for our new editor has been a lengthy and thorough process looking at candidates from across the UK and Ireland. We have left no stone unturned in appointing the best person to lead a critical part of our media organisation.”

He added: “Despite the widespread decline and contraction of newsrooms across the UK and Ireland in recent years, the Irish News is an ambitious business which has spent the last few years investing significantly in talent and technology, and a rebrand of the paper.

“The company has an ambition to grow its digital footprint, with a key focus on quality journalism.

“Scale and investment in modern and progressive methods of media production and newsroom management will be integral to this.”

Mr Fitzpatrick continued: “Chris stood out in what was a tremendously strong line-up of candidates. In his 15 years at Reach, and earlier experience at Sky and Johnston Press, he has worked in almost every editorial job in a newsroom and has shown himself to be an inspiring and courageous leader.

“He has fronted and embraced huge changes in the industry with creativity and conviction, and we are confident he is the right editor to lead our organisation into the future.”

The Irish News employs more than 130 people, with teams of journalists, technologists, product managers, commercial strategists, and marketing specialists.