STEPHEN Rae has been appointed editor of the Irish Independent after seven years at the helm of the Herald.
Mr Rae (46) will take up the position at the head of Ireland's leading quality daily newspaper.
He replaces Gerry O'Regan (62), who has taken the decision to retire after seven years with the Irish Independent.
Mr O'Regan will continue his association with the paper as a weekly columnist and will continue to contribute other articles to the paper.
In his new role, Mr Rae will have full responsibility for the print and online editions of the newspaper, ensuring full integration of the print and online editorial teams.
He leaves the Evening Herald, having previously served as its deputy editor, associate editor and security correspondent.
Mr Rae qualified as a barrister at King's Inns, Dublin, and is also a graduate of the DIT School of Journalism.
A native of Co Kerry, he is also a former editor of the Garda Review.
Joe Webb, Chief Executive, Independent News & Media (Ireland), said that Mr Rae's strong news background and editing experience made him an ideal choice.
"We are delighted to announce Stephen's appointment," he said.
"He has many of the same fine characteristics that made Gerry O'Regan a superb editor.
"He is a Kerry man, a former editor of the Evening Herald and a talented and opinionated writer.
"I wish him and his colleagues at the Irish Independent every success in continuing to set the news agenda and in innovating to meet the evolving needs of a new generation of loyal readers.
"I also wish to thank Gerry for his unstinting contribution during his time as Editor of the Irish Independent, the Evening Herald and the Irish Daily Star.
"He has a superb intellect and connection with readers and I am delighted that he will continue as a contributor to the Irish Independent in the years ahead," he added.