South Shields Gazette editor John Szymanski is leaving the paper to take up the same role at Johnston Press sister title the Sunderland Echo.
Szymanski replaces Richard Ord, who has been acting editor since Lawson’s departure in September and will return to his role as deputy editor.
Joy Yates will become editor of the Shields Gazette in addition to her current role as editor of the Hartlepool Mail.
Stephen Plews, who replaced Stuart Birkettas managing director of Johnston’s North East titles last month, said: “The next few months are extremely important for the business as we move into our planned period of re-launches and these appointments are key to that process.
“I know you will all give your full support to John, Richard and Joy and wish them every success.”
The appointments takes effect from today.