Paul Bailey promoted to editor-in-chief as Fairfax reshuffles business again


Paul Bailey

The editor of the Australian Financial Review (AFR) Paul Bailey has been promoted to the role of editor-in-chief of business at Fairfax Media, with oversight over the business sections of The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) and The Age.

Bailey’s new position sees him replace James Chessell, a former deputy editor of the AFR who was last year promoted to the role of Fairfax’s editor – business and charged with bringing together greater cooperation and copy sharing between the BusinessDay business section of the SMH and Age with their sister publication the AFR. Chessell is moving overseas to establish a London bureau for the AFR.

Sean Aylmer group director, business media at Fairfax’s Australian Publishing Media announced the promotion to staff in an email this week: “Paul Bailey will take on the job as Editor-in-Chief, Business, effectively replacing James Chessell. Paul has been a mainstay of the AFR for several years, and has had stints at the Sydney Morning Herald, the Bulletin and Channel Nine.

“His management abilities, knowledge and experience, and ability to cope with any situation will ensure we continue to build on the great work James has done bringing together teams from the different mastheads. Paul’s responsibilities includes companies and markets coverage across all mastheads, and all platforms, including The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. Paul will report to me.”

Bailey will still be involved in the AFR.

The bringing together of the various Fairfax business sections has been a controversial topic within the publisher, and last year business journalist Paddy Manning was forced to resign after he denounced the changes in structure and accused his employer of allowing “creeping editorial” into the AFR.

In the email Aylmer acknowledged the challenges of establishing the new business vertical within the newspaper group writing: “I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their efforts since the vertical was created last July. It hasn’t always been easy but we have made significant progress.”

Aylmer also announced Sally Patten associate editor of the AFR would take the role of editor of personal finance overseeing the Money section in the metropolitan mastheads, the Sunday Money sections, and Smart Investor and Smart Money in the AFR.

Alymer added: “Sally is currently an associate editor at the AFR and previously was the masthead’s financial services editor, and portfolio editor. She also set up a DIYSuper website and worked for The Times in London as a reporter and business news editor.

“The Business vertical will put greater focus on personal finance in the future, and Sally will lead out push into that market. Sally will report to me.”

The changes will be effective from May 19 and mean Aylmer’s direct reports in the business vertical are now editor-in-chief, AFR Michael Stutchbury, editor-in-chief, business, Paul Bailey, editor, personal finance Sally Patten, managing editor business Diana McRobbie, business product director Jen Marshall and chief operating officer Simon Anderson.

Nic Christensen 


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