Long-serving Liverpool ECHO editor Ali Machray is to stand down from his role later this year to seek new opportunities.
Machray, 59, has edited the Echo since 2005 and before that had 10 years as editor of the Liverpool Daily Post and Welsh Daily Post.
Machray, the country’s longest-serving daily editor, has led the ECHO to a string of awards and built up a huge digital audience and industry-leading print sales. He will leave in the Autumn, thus ensuring a smooth handover to his successor, Maria Breslin, the Echo’s first woman editor.
"I believe the time is right, personally and professionally, to allow others to drive the business forward and face up to the exciting challenges ahead," Machray said.
Machray is currently in his sixth decade as a newsman. He began his career in 1979 as a trainee reporter with the Sunderland Echo, before moving to the Newcastle Journal, then the Newcastle Evening Chronicle.
He worked for ‘Today’ in London before returning to the Chronicle then joining the ECHO as Assistant Editor in 1994.
"I am extraordinarily proud to have edited the greatest brand in regional journalism and it’s now time for the Echo to enjoy fresh ideas and impetus. It is a magical brand.
"I am privileged to have had 26 years working alongside amazing people for an amazing company.
"I am proud too, of Liverpool City Region and what it has become. When I arrived I was told that my job included making sure Liverpool was a better place when my editorship ended. I am thrilled at the extraordinary strides my city has made and if I have helped a little bit along the way then that brings me immense satisfaction.
"I will be looking for opportunities to play a part in the success of the city and her organisation and businesses. I still feel I have a lot to accomplish and a lot to offer.’
Alan Edmunds, group 0perating Officer of the Echo’s Parent company, said: "Ali has been a truly outstanding editor, highly respected throughout the industry and in the community he serves with such fortitude.
He is a role model and mentor for so many journalists who have had the pleasure of working with him.
"Ali's achievements at the Liverpool Echo are widely appreciated. Passionate campaigns, great stories and an innate understanding of his readership characterise Ali's long tenure.
"Very importantly, he has grown the Echo's digital audience to great heights as well as steering its print course in expert fashion. Ali will leave us this Autumn with our enormous thanks and warm wishes for the future as he hands over.
Newly-appointed ECHO editor Maria Breslin was previously a reporter for national news agency the Press Association covering Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales.
She left to become news editor at the North Wales Daily Post, joined the Echo as head of content before being appointed digital editor to spearhead the title’s online growth.
She said: “I have some big shoes to fill. Ali has been an inspirational figurehead, a great champion of our fantastic city and an incredible mentor.
“Under his leadership the Echo has achieved so much – winning awards and campaigns, fighting for the people of Merseyside and growing our online audience.
“I arrived in Liverpool as an 18-year-old student and I have never looked back. I am privileged to live in such a vibrant, exciting and forward-looking city.
“We’re working from home right now but from my home in Aigburth I promise that we will continue to champion and fight for Merseyside and share the very many amazing stories from across our region.
“This is most-definitely the proudest moment of my life – being the first woman editor of the Echo is certainly something to be proud of and something I hope will inspire my daughter and other aspiring women writers.”
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