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Kevin O'Sullivan resigns as editor of the Irish Times

The unexpected announcement was made this afternoon.
Apr 5th 2017, 3:45 PM 29,883 33

KEVIN O’SULLIVAN HAS resigned as the editor of the Irish Times.

He will be replaced with immediate effect by his deputy Paul O’Neill.

The surprise announcement was made this afternoon to the newsroom.

O’Sullivan, 57, will now become the newspaper’s Environment, Agriculture and Science editor.

He was appointed editor in 2011, replacing Geraldine Kennedy following her retirement.

He joined the Irish Times in 1997 and has held a number of editorial positions, as well as serving as the environmental and food science correspondent. He had been news editor under Kennedy since 2006.

According to the latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), the Irish Times sold an average of 79,427 copies (in print and the ePaper) in the last six months of 2016. This constituted a drop of 2.6% on the year previous.

O’Sullivan oversaw the introduction of a paywall on the company’s online news services. In February, it reported an online, paying customer base of 55,724.

In a statement today, he said his six-year term coincided with “unprecedented turbulence and uncertainty for media businesses”.

“I would like to pay particular tribute to all on the editorial team,” he continued. “In an unrelenting challenging period, they ensured a consistent output of public-interest journalism and content that informed and enriched the lives of a growing number of readers.”

New appointment

Dan Flinter, chairman of the Irish Times’ board, announced the appointment of O’Neill to the top job.

He described his career thus far as “long and distinguished”, noting that the 52-year-old joined the newspaper in 1989 as London Correspondent.

He has also served as a news reporter, crime correspondent, deputy news editor and business desk editor. He became Finance Editor in 2000 before leaving journalism to take up a role in PR.

A short time later, he returned to the Irish Times as deputy editor. In 2011, he was made Editorial Director responsible for “operations across print and digital content”. He returned to his deputy editorship in September 2015.

According to Flinter, O’Neill has “been central to all editorial developments” since then.

Wishing him luck in the new role, he added: “In making the appointment, the board was very pleased to have a candidate with an evident strong track record and experience, who has the necessary leadership skills and talent for the role and who has the ability to build on the current momentum of change within the organisation”.

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Sinead O'Carroll

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