Irish Mirror editor-in-chief steps down as Reach embarks on major transformation

Business Comms

Ireland editor-in-chief John Kierans, affectionately known as “Jumbo”, is stepping down as Reach announces a major restructure of its UK and Ireland operations.

The news comes after Reach, which owns seven print titles and five websites all-Ireland including the daily and Sunday editions of the Irish Mirror newspaper, Daily Mirror in the North and the NI and ROI editions of the Sunday People, announced the major transformation would result in 550 redundancies group-wide.

Reach’s Irish business is not exempt from the restructure which, according to CEO Jim Mullen, it is undertaking to “protect our businesses and newsbrands for the long term” following the impact the Covid-19 crisis has had on the business and the media sector as a whole.

“To meet these challenges and to accelerate our customer value strategy, we have completed plans to transform the business and are ready to begin the process of implementation,” he said.  

“Regrettably, these plans involve a reduction in our workforce and we will ensure all impacted colleagues are treated with fairness and respect throughout the forthcoming consultation process.”

Jumbo has been with the media group for 25 years and during that time has played a pivotal role in expanding the publisher’s footprint in Ireland from just the NI and Irish editions of the Mirror newspaper to a fully integrated publishing portfolio that now includes five digital news sites and a lifestyle magazine that are read by 87% of the population.

The restructuring ambitions will see Chris Sherrard, former editor of Belfast Live step into a new role as Audience and Content Director for Ireland, leading the group’s editorial operation across digital and print. 

The commercial side of the business in Ireland will still be led by Joanne McGreevy who has been appointed Marketplace Publisher. Joanne and Chris will work closely together to lead the Irish business to future growth. 

Chris said: “I am following in the footsteps of a legend of Irish journalism who has done so much to build our news brands in Ireland.

“These are unquestionably difficult and challenging times for our industry but I'm confident that the future is bright.

“I am really excited by the challenge and looking forward to leading a team of extremely talented journalists across print and digital, North and South.”

Joanne McGreevy added: “I have had the pleasure of working with Jumbo since the very first day the Irish Mirror was printed in Ireland. His contribution and loyalty to the Irish Mirror and the Irish business as a whole has been incredible and it has been a privilege to work alongside a great friend and colleague.

“We must now refocus and reshape our structure and the way we operate around our customer value strategy and in the context of the new market conditions in which we are operating. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Jumbo and wish him the very best of luck for the future - a future which will include a column in his beloved Mirror!”

On his decision to step down, Jumbo said: “I have now decided to step down as Editor of the Mirror in Ireland, with immediate effect.

“I am and always will be a Mirror man. I love the paper, our websites and the many wonderful colleagues I have had the privilege of working with over the last 25 years.”