Thursday 18 October 2018

Brady to step down after 16 years as Irish Times editor

Marese McDonagh

CONOR Brady, the editor of the Irish Times, is to step down after almost 16 years in the job.

After a turbulent period which has seen the workforce reduced by almost one-third, Mr Brady (53) said he would remain in the job until his successor is appointed, possibly in October or November.

Among those tipped as frontrunners to fill the post are financial journalist Cliff Taylor, who was recently appointed Head of NewsCentre; political editor Geraldine Kennedy; managing editor Eoin McVeigh and foreign editor Peter Murtagh.

The Irish organiser of the National Union of Journalists, Seamus Dooley, yesterday paid tribute to Mr Brady, saying he was an innovative journalist who has been strongly committed to securing editorial resources and to protecting the independence and integrity of the Irish Times.

"Conor Brady is a journalist of distinction and I hope his retirement marks a new era in his role in the Irish media and public life," said Mr Dooley.

He added that the next editor of the Irish Times would be taking the helm at a time of great challenge and change.

Nuala Haughey, mother of the NUJ chapel (branch) within the Irish Times, also wished Mr Brady success in his future career. She said the chapel hoped the new editor would "meet the challenges ahead".

There has been speculation about Mr Brady's future since the newspaper indicated last November that it was facing losses of £17.5m or over ?22m this year and was seeking 250 redundancies.

During a 10-minute address to staff in the newsroom yesterday, Mr Brady said the restructuring programme was now effectively complete.

"The governance of the company has been thoroughly reformed and reshaped," he pointed out.

Describing the past nine months as a "trying period", Mr Brady said he had asked the company chairman, Brian Patterson, to begin the process of selecting a new editor.

The position is to be advertised and it is understood that a broad interview panel is to include a member of the chapel's editorial committee. Mr Brady told staff that there will be an independent assessor, who is expected to be a former British-based newspaper editor.

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