UPDATE 1.50pm: The editor of Australia's largest daily newspaper has suddenly resigned while major changes continue rumbling across an unstable media landscape.
Staff at Melbourne's Herald Sun were told this morning editor Simon Pristel had tendered his resignation after four years in the job.
Parent company News Ltd issued a statement confirming his departure to “pursue other interests".
"I am proud to have led the Herald Sun through an extraordinary period of transformation in the media business,” Pristel said in the company-prepared statement.
"It is a great team and I wish them well."
Some staff at the paper said it remained unclear if Pristel had resigned or was stood down as hundreds of other jobs remain at risk.
Earlier this month, News Ltd confirmed it would centralise its operations among all of its mastheads, resulting in an unstated number of redundancies.
Chief executive Kim Williams had told staff in a video briefing that any cuts would be “significantly less” than the 1900 job losses announced by rival Fairfax Media.
The first wave of News Ltd job cuts began last week with 30 Queensland sub-editors let go and 70 digital platform staff told to leave.
Sunday Herald Sun editor Damon Johnston had been appointed editor of the Herald Sun, Mr Williams said later in a statement.
He said Phil Gardner remained editor-in-chief of the Herald Sun but had been asked to continue to lead the transformation of the newsroom to a seven-day, multi-channel operation.
“Additionally, Phil will concentrate on overseeing the vitally important editions of the Herald Sun on Saturday, the Sunday Herald Sun and their related digital products,” Mr Willaims said.
Mr Williams said the new editorial model for News Victoria reflected the company’s commitment to seven-day, consumer-first publishing.
Pristel had worked at News Ltd since 1989 and worked his way up from copy boy to senior ranks.
In 2005 he took over as editor of the Sunday Herald Sun and became editor of the Herald Sun in 2008.