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Senior Fairfax editors quit in restructure


The editors of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have resigned as Fairfax Media embarks on the most radical restructure in its 170-year history.

Amanda Wilson, the Herald's first female editor since it was founded in 1831, has quit and the newspaper's editor-in-chief Peter Fray is leaving as his senior publishing role is abolished.

The Age's editor and editor-in-chief Paul Ramadge is also stepping down from the Melbourne paper.

In a statement, Fairfax Media said Mr Fray would step down as editor-in-chief of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald on July 5.

His position has been axed as part of the new Fairfax Metro Media management structure.

Mr Fray has previously been editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sunday Age and The Canberra Times.

Ms Wilson finishes on June 29.

Mr Ramadge, who assumed his role in 2008, will step down in early July.

Key editorial appointments for The Sydney Morning Herald will be announced later on Monday, while new appointments at The Age will be announced on Tuesday, Fairfax Media said in a statement.

Fairfax journalists posted accounts on Twitter of emotional scenes in their newsrooms.

"Tears in the newsroom. Garry Linnell, recently appointed editorial director, also appears v emotional as he pays tribute to Amanda and Peter," the SMH's crime editor Lisa Davies said.

The Herald's education editor Andrew Stevenson wrote: "Behold #Fairfax, the editor-less paper. Next sail the rudderless ship."

The editorial director of Fairfax's Metro Media Garry Linnell, a former editor of News Limited's The Daily Telegraph, praised Mr Fray for handling the difficult and lonely job of editing a daily newspaper.

"Peter thrived in those situations and we will miss his editing and publishing skills - and his leadership," he said in a statement.

Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood said Ms Wilson had been an exemplary editor.

"She continued to build the reputation of the newspaper while at the same time guiding it through a period of enormous change," he said.

Mr Ramadge said The Age had stood up to vested interests.

"When we were challenged, by economic conditions or by those with narrow interests, we stood as one, resolute in our ethics and standards," he said in a statement.

"These are extremely challenging times for the media."

The upheaval at Fairfax comes as mining magnate Gina Rinehart pushes to have three seats on the company board.

The resignations come a week after Fairfax announced it would axe 1900 positions at the SMH and The Age.