Black out. After a decade at Private Media, editor-in-chief Sophie Black yesterday announced her departure.

Black joined Crikey as a journalist when it was bought by Private Media 10 years ago. She rose to the rank of editor, but left in 2012 to have a baby. She returned two years later as Private Media’s editor-in-chief, responsible for editorial at all Private Media’s publications, including Crikey. But she told staff yesterday she was leaving to embark on a new project, which “might be a book” and “might be a fellowship” but was definitely not a competitor to Crikey (phew). Your correspondent attempted to solicit more information at a company meeting yesterday, suggesting Black clearly had at least a topic area in mind, but was shot down by the departing editor-in-chief who said, with the adamant tone of someone fearful of voicing an idea lest it slip through their fingers: “Shut up, I’m not ready to talk about it.”

In a statement, Private Media CEO Jason Kibsgaard said Black’s time as editor-in-chief had been characterised by an emphasis on “communication and collaboration”, and of providing mentorship to Private Media’s title editors. “As an integral part of our leadership team she has contributed to the ongoing strategies of each publication as well as serving as a public voice and advocate for Private Media within the industry and the wider media. Of course, Sophie has a special place in Crikey’s heart. She came on board in the very early years to eventually become an outstanding editor who built a fantastic team to lay a very strong legacy for the publication.”

She leaves at the end of the month. — Myriam Robin

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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