Damien Murphy June 26, 2012
Edited out … Peter Fray addresses staff in the Herald newsroom yesterday, watched by Amanda Wilson. Photo: Dean Sewell
THREE Fairfax Media editors announced they would step down yesterday as the company went through one of the most dramatic days in the Herald's 181-year history.
The publisher and editor-in-chief of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald, Peter Fray, and the editor of the Herald, Amanda Wilson, will quit the company.
On the eve of an editorial newsroom review aimed at revolutionising Fairfax's reporting structures, staff assembled in the newspaper's fourth floor newsroom in Pyrmont to watch as the two executives delivered farewell addresses in an emotionally charged atmosphere.
Mr Fray, who joined the Herald in 1987 and edited the Herald, the Sunday Age and The Canberra Times, said he had worked at Fairfax for almost half his life, including the past 17 years straight. ''I believe in what we do, what we stand for and what we are becoming. What we do is necessary - vital - to a functioning democracy,'' he said. ''We all know that and we all know there has to be workable business model underneath it.''
Ms Wilson, the first female editor of the Herald, told staff the newsroom was about to go through profound change and she had overseen huge and tough changes and very big cuts to resources.
''The past 18 months as editor have truly been the toughest but most rewarding of my 40 years in journalism,'' she said. ''I've had a wonderful 17 years here. I thought I knew quite a bit about journalism when I arrived here from many years in Fleet Street to be the Herald's foreign editor, but you've taught me a lot.''
The chief executive of Fairfax Media, Greg Hywood, said Mr Fray had transformed Fairfax from a print to a genuine multi-platform media company.
He said Ms Wilson was an exemplary editor who continued to build the reputation of the paper while at the same time guiding it through a period of enormous change.
Meanwhile in Melbourne, the editor-in-chief of The Age, Paul Ramadge, informed staff that he was standing down and would leave Fairfax.
Garry Linnell, editorial director, metro media, said two new appointments at The Age would be announced this morning.