Fairfax Media created a new role of Victorian publisher to its Australian metro publishing, naming editor and journalist Mark Hawthorne as its first occupant.
His 25 years' experience in journalism - spanning news, business, politics, sport and lifestyle - includes 13 at Fairfax, most recently as senior editor of The Age.
Australian publishing media managing director Chris Janz says Hawthorne will be the group's "key local touchpoint" for business leaders and the community. He will work closely with Age editor Alex Lavelle and the Melbourne commercial team, reporting to Janz.
The publisher says other editorial and commercial reporting lines will not change.
Hawthorne is a past national business editor of Fairfax metro mastheads including the BusinessDay sections of The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.
He entered the newsmedia industry in 1986 as a weekend copy boy at the Melbourne Sunday Observer when he was 14.
He recalls "the excitement" of walking into the Age newsroom for the first time in 1989. Returning from London after seven years at Sunday Business and Conde Nast, he says he printed one copy of his resume and posted it to the Age: "There was no other place in Melbourne I wanted to work," he says.
"The Age is well positioned to succeed, and has the best newsroom in the country, the respect of readers and the community and the heritage and trust of being a 163-year-old masthead."