Brett Clegg, the head of business media at Fairfax, has left the company and will be replaced by Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief Sean Aylmer. Sources say Clegg will return to a senior role at News Corp Australia, where he previously served as deputy CEO of The Australian.

A possible job for Clegg is the vacant post of News Corp’s NSW regional director, which would give him oversight of The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and a raft of regional papers. The job has been vacant since Michael Miller left to run APN News & Media in April.

Clegg’s departure, which has been long rumoured among Fairfax journalists, comes as the company controversially merges The Australian Financial Review and BusinessDay into one division.

Clegg, a Fin veteran, rejoined Fairfax in 2011 as CEO of the Financial Review Group. Sources say Clegg, who was unavailable for comment, has made clear for some time that he was unhappy with the restructure and has been under strong internal pressure.

News media boss Garry Linnell will serve as editor-in-chief of The SMH until a replacement is found.

Fairfax will be concerned, if Clegg indeed returns to News, that reporters may follow him. Clegg lured many top reporters over to The Oz from The Fin when he jumped ship and did the same to News when he returned to The Fin. But the cash that made such poachings possible only a few years ago is now in short supply.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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