Former Sydney Morning Herald editor Judith Whelan

Editing a newspaper, or any newsroom, is a pretty particular and unusual job. It puts you at the very head of the journalism profession. It’s demanding and high-stakes, and often (but not always), when editors leave, it’s not their choice.

And they’re usually either too young to retire, or so completely unused to “time off” and unsuited to stopping work, they need to find some kind of employment to occupy their time.

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So where do they end up? We’ve tracked some of the profession’s more recent departures, and for a large proportion of them, the ivory tower of academia was most attractive, while others moved to the Dark Side (AKA communications). A handful took up other media gigs.


Peter Fray

Former editor or editor-in-chief for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun-Herald, The Canberra Times and The Sunday Age
Current co-director of Centre for Media Transition and the head of the journalism discipline at UTS

David Fagan

Former editor and editor-in-chief Courier Mail
Current director of corporate transition and adjunct professor of business at Queensland University of Technology

Paul Ramadge

Former editor-in-chief The Age
Current managing director, the PLuS Alliance (between University of NSW, King’s College London and Arizona State University), via stint at Monash University

Andrew Jaspan

Former editor and editor-in-chief The Age
Current head of The Global Academy at RMIT (via founding and running The Conversation)

Michael Gawenda

Former editor The Age
Current head of the Centre for Advanced Journalism at University of Melbourne

Darren Goodsir

Former editor The Sydney Morning Herald
Current chief communications officer, University of NSW

Phillip Gardner

Former editor-in-chief Herald and Weekly Times
Current associate director, media and publishing, University of Melbourne


Andrew Holden

Former editor The Age
Current director of communications, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (via 18 months as head of communications, Cricket Australia)

Mike Smith

Former editor The Age
Current director of Inside PR, public relations and crisis management consultants

Michael Crutcher

Former editor Courier Mail
Current director 55 Comms, public relations consultants

Paul Armstrong

Former editor The West Australian
Current investor relations consultant, Read Corporate

Megan Lloyd

Former editor Sunday Mail (SA)
Current corporate affairs, Holden

Garry Bailey

Former editor The Mercury
Current media strategist 3P Consulting (via a short stint on ABC Radio)

Amanda Wilson

Former editor The Sydney Morning Herald
Current director, Amanda Wilson Communications and director, Crime Stoppers NSW

Other media gigs

Bruce Guthrie

Former editor Herald Sun
Current editorial director, The New Daily

David Penberthy

Former editor Daily TelegraphSunday Mail (SA),, The Punch
Current breakfast presenter 5AA and News Corp columnist

Simon Pristel

Former editor Herald Sun
Current Seven Melbourne news director

Garry Linnell

Former Fairfax editorial director
2UE breakfast presenter (until last week) and Fairfax columnist

Lachlan Heywood

Former editor Courier Mail
Current executive editor Daily Mail Australia

Judith Whelan

Former editor The Sydney Morning Herald
Current ABC head of specialist content

Have we missed someone? Let us know.

NOTE: This story had been updated to correct Garry Linnell’s position with 2UE.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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