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Fairfax newspaper bosses quit
Fairfax newspaper bosses quit

UPDATE 3.10pm: The editors-in-chief of Fairfax Media’s main daily newspapers in Sydney and Melbourne will leave the company following a big organisational shake-up announced by the company last week.

Paul Ramadge reportedly told staff at the Age today he would be leaving Fairfax.

Amanda Wilson, the Sydney Morning Herald’s editor, has also announced she will stand down along with editor-in-chief Peter Fray.

In a statement to the SMH online, Fairfax Metro Media Editorial Director Garry Linnell said two distinguished Fairfax careers were ending with their decision to leave.

"We are saying farewell to two champions of our profession,” he said.

Mr Linnell later announced the appointment of Sean Aylmer as editor-in-chief of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald and Darren Goodsir as director of news, Sydney.

Goodsir is currently editor of the smh.com.au website.

Aylmer worked for the Reserve Bank of Australia before move to journalism and joining Fairfax Media in 1997.

He has worked at the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian Financial Review and was editor-in-chief of BRW. He was appointed national business editor, Metro Media, in November last year.

The website said Wilson announced her departure in an emotional address to the newsroom, saying a major newsroom review was about to take place and it was time for her to pursue new challenges.

Fray told colleagues he did not have a new job to go to but saw his resignation as an exciting opportunity.

The departures follow last week’s announcement by Fairfax that it would slash 1900 jobs and erect paywalls on its flagship titles in a major overhaul towards a digital future as print advertising revenues plunge.

The media company also warned it might stop publishing it two main daily papers in Sydney and Melbourne if the changes did not result in a turnaround in their profitability.

It is not clear whether the senior newspaper executive resigned voluntarily or were pushed but it is understood the departures are aimed at convincing the market that Fairfax’s board is serious about changing the culture and organisation of the struggling media firm.

Fairfax shares closed one cent weaker at 57 cents.

Fairfax reporters took to Twitter to express their sadness about the loss of the two editors.

The Sydney Morning Herald's education editor Andrew Stevenson wrote: “Behold Fairfax, the editor-less paper. Next sail the rudderless ship.”

The SMH's crime editor Lisa Davies described an emotional newsroom.

"Tears in the newsroom. Garry Linnell, recently appointed editorial director, also appears very emotional as he pays tribute to Amanda and Peter."

"Very sad to hear of AWilsonSMH and Peter Fray's departure from mh. I enjoyed working under both editors,” the Herald's court reporter Louise Hall tweeted.