New editor of the Irish Daily Star
In November, we added the Irish Daily Star to our portfolio of brands, completing our acquisition from Independent News & Media (INM). A lot of decisions and plans for the future are to be made and the first one we have announced is that Des Gibson will be stepping down from his role as Editor at the end of 2020, and Neil Leslie will take the reins from 1 Jan 2021.
Making the announcement on the editorship changes, Reach’s Audience and Content Director for Ireland, Chris Sherrard said: “I want to put on record my sincere thanks to Des for his professionalism and dedication to the role and the paper since returning earlier this year. He has helped steer the Star through a difficult time for the industry and the country and I wish him the best of luck with the next chapter of his career.
“Neil brings a vast level of experience to the role with more than 25 years working in national newspapers in Ireland, including two and a half years as head of news with the Irish Daily Star until the end of 2019.
“I am really looking forward to having Neil in charge of the paper coming into what is a very exciting year for both the Star and Reach in Ireland.”
Des added: “It’s been a challenging year for The Irish Daily Star and all Irish newspapers but I am very proud of what the team have achieved in an extremely successful year.
“I would like to thank Gavin O’Leary, the management at ISL and the entire Star family for their incredible efforts in 2020 and wish ISL and Reach every success in the new year and beyond.”
Incoming editor Neil said: “I’m delighted to be returning to what I know from experience is a first-class team of journalists and a great paper. I know both will be even stronger as part of the growing Reach family and add hugely to it.”
Our acquisition of the Irish Daily Star cements our place as one of the biggest publishers of national and regional news brands across Ireland with an existing portfolio that includes the Northern Irish and Irish editions of the Daily and Sunday Mirror newspapers, the Sunday People newspaper, RSVP magazine and five websites that reached a total online audience of 23.3 million users last month (November 2020, according to Google Analytics).