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Irish Daily Star to get new editor

Current editor Ger Colleran to become MD of the newspaper – the new editor will be appointed within a fortnight.

Ger Colleran moves from Editor to MD of the Irish Daily Star
Ger Colleran moves from Editor to MD of the Irish Daily Star
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Published 16.20; Updated 17.40

THE IRISH DAILY STAR is to get a new editor as current editor Gerard Colleran is to step into the managing director role.

Current MD Paul Cooke has not yet revealed what his future plans are but Colleran will be taking up the role within weeks – and told TheJournal.ie that a new editor for the newspaper will be announced “within a week or so”. He has been with the Star since December 1999 when he took over as editor from Gerry O’Regan, now editor of the Irish Independent.

While Colleran would not confirm the name of the new editor, he said that “we have a clear target in mind”. Sources close to management in the paper have suggested that a strong candidate could be current news editor Michael O’Kane, formerly of RTÉ. Des Gibson, the former editor of the Irish Daily Star Sunday, which closed suddenly at the beginning of January, could also potentially be in the frame. He is currently attached to the Star’s new book publishing arm Paperweight Publications.

The Irish Daily Star recorded a €4.3m operating profit for 2010. Gerard Colleran confirmed his new role to TheJournal.ie this afternoon and said he was proud that he had managed to keep the paper steady as “the leading brand in the popular end of the market”.

He acknowledged “challenging times” for newspapers but said that this was the situation for all business right now. He added:

The big challenge is to maintain the brand’s penetration of the market.
While Colleran has built a higher public profile in recent years, particularly as stand-in host on Eamon Dunphy’s show on Newstalk radio. However, he also took time off in 2009 to undertake a business course at Harvard Business School in the US, which might have been a signifier of his interest in getting into the business end of the newspaper. He came to the Irish Daily Star from the Kerryman newspaper, where he had also been editor.

On his resignation from the MD role, Paul Cooke said today:

This has been a very difficult decision for me as I have spent the majority of my career working with great editors, journalists and commercial colleagues to build the successful organisation that is Independent Star Ltd today.

There comes a time in everyone’s career, however, when it is right to take on fresh challenges and I have both the experience and energy to make a significant new contribution. I have specific plans which I want to pursue but these are confidential and it would be premature to discuss them at this point.

Of Ger Colleran’s appointment, Cooke said:

I have no doubt that, despite current challenging conditions in the media industry, the Irish Daily Star will continue to grow in readership and influence over the years ahead and I wish Ger and the team the very best.

Paul Cooke was a founding executive of Independent Star Ltd in 1988. He became MD in 2001, succeeding the late John Thompson in the role.

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