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A little under a year after joining 24.com, Andrew Trench has announced his resignation from the position of managing editor of News24. Originally brought in to help bolster the Naspers-owned publishers investigative efforts, and to help set up its wire service, Trench is leaving to take up a position at Times Media.
According to a press release sent to Memeburn, Trench said his departure “wasn’t planned and it wasn’t solicited and my leaving is no reflection of my feelings about the 24-family. It’s been an amazing and exhilarating year with exciting plans unfolding for the year ahead.”
Trench joins Times Media as a digital editor, doing so at a time when there have been a number of reshuffles amongst the publisher’s various titles.
Interestingly 24.com doesn’t seem to have any plans to find a like-for-like replacement for Trench. According to acting head at 24.com Andreij Horn, the publisher will probably look for a strong channel editor for News24, but is unlikely to seek out a dedicated editor-in-chief.
“I believe the concept of an editor-in-chief is by its nature a print legacy construct that originated in an environment of limited editorial space that necessitated curation and selection on behalf of readers,” says Horn. “This can very easily lead to a ‘push’ model, much like broadcast TV, where the viewer – and in the publishing arena, the reader – has only one of two choices – consume what is offered at the time of it being available, or tune out. We now live in a world where users expect infinite choice and media companies to be intelligent enough to treat them like the individuals they are. This demands a different philosophy in news rooms and Andrew’s departure, while unexpected, creates the opportunity for us to make these changes now.”
Trench’s move to Times Media is the latest high-profile piece of digital head-hunting by Times Media after it brought across Lisa Macleod from Media24 in mid 2014, making her head of digital.
“Andrew is an editor we have had our eye on for some time and is the most respected digital content leader in the country. We are thrilled that he has decided to join our team, which is highly focused on a digital future for all our top brands,” said TMG CEO, Andrew Bonamour, in a statement.