Melbourne and Sydney newsrooms will be working "in concert" but they won't lose their local flavour in the Fairfax shake-up, the incoming editor-in-chief of The Age says.
Andrew Holden, whose reputation grew with his stewardship of Fairfax's NZ paper, The Press, through last year's Christchurch earthquake, replaces Paul Ramadge who was one of three top Fairfax editors to quit their roles on Monday.
The Saturday Age editor Steve Foley will move into the role of Melbourne news director in the newsroom shake-up.
Mr Holden has worked in the industry for 25 years, including seven years at The Age and Sunday Age and four years as editor in Christchurch.
He said his editor-in-chief role would differ from his predecessor's to reflect the shifting focus from print to digital content.
"Whereas in the past the editor has been predominantly of the print product, what happens now is that the digital news teams, the iPad production, the mobile, they all come under the one newsroom structure," he said on Tuesday.
"Then we've got this secondary role of news director, which applies in Sydney as well, essentially what that is a chief of staff across the full news room resource."
Mr Holden said national teams of journalists from The Age and Sydney Morning Herald newsrooms would work more closely together.
But he said the round structure would not be abandoned and local teams would be covering Melbourne issues.
Metro Media editorial director Garry Linnell said Mr Holden's leadership of The Press in the aftermath of the earthquake received worldwide notice.
The Press published an edition the day after the quake, despite the destruction of their office and the death of a staff member.
"It wasn't just the exemplary manner in which he guided and cared for his staff at a time of crisis - it was also the way he led the Christchurch community, informing them of the situation and keeping a cool, calm voice when others might have trembled," he said in a statement.
Mr Holden's appointment came the day after the resignations of Sydney Morning Herald editor Amanda Wilson, Herald editor-in-chief Peter Fray and Mr Ramadge.
Sean Aylmer was named editor-in-chief at the Sydney Morning Herald with Darren Goodsir, editor of the Herald's website, handed the role of director of news.
Mr Holden and Mr Foley will start their new roles on Monday.