The big sweeping statements are the ones that often get you into trouble. So it was yesterday in declaring 35-year-old David Penberthy the youngest Murdoch editor since Mark Day was given Adelaide’s Sunday Mail at the tender age of 26 way back in 1970.

A correct statement would have been to say that Penbo was the youngest Murdoch editor of a major competitive daily since Mark Day was given The Daily Mirror by Murdoch in 1974 at the age of 30.

After all, it’s not that hard editing a Sunday or a paper with a monopoly position in cities such as Adelaide and Perth. The genuine hot seats are the Melbourne and Sydney markets where there’s competition between two titles and the national battle between The Australian and The AFR.

That said, we don’t need any more prompting to work up a list of the youngest newspaper editors appointed in the past 40 years and invite your contributions. Here are some names to kick this off.

Paul Armstrong: The West Australian at 33
Eric Beecher: The Sydney Morning Herald at 33
Peter Blunden: The Advertiser in Adelaide at 32
Mark Day: Sunday Mail in Adelaide at 26
Alan Howe: The Sunday Herald at 33
John Lyons: The Sydney Morning Herald at 33
David Penberthy: The Daily Telegraph at 35

We’ll take any entry under 40 so send your additions and corrections to [email protected].

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW