The Sun’s assistant editor Paul Hudson is relocating to Dublin to take over the paper’s Irish edition, a move that sees the departure of Irish editor Mike McNiffe after seven years.
London-based assistant design editor Nathan Brandon is also relocating to Dublin as the company looks to make “significant changes” to the Irish edition.
Sun editor Dominic Mohan emailed staff last week saying publishers News International had completed an “extensive review” of the Irish Sun to “ensure it has a successful future in a difficult economy”.
“Our guiding principle is to bring more of the DNA that lies at the heart of The Sun into the Irish edition without compromising the paper’s Irish identity,” said Mohan.
Changes include creating “more efficient flatplans to make the paper more responsive to the local advertising market”.
Hudson becomes acting Irish editor and Brandon’s new title is acting design director.
Mohan added: “The Irish editor, Mick McNiffe, will be leaving the paper after seven years of loyal service. I want to personally thank him and wish him well in the next stage of his career.
“None of these decisions are easy, but the most important task is to create a sustainable future for the Irish Sun.”
McNiffe is the former deputy editor of the Irish Daily Mirror and assistant editor of the Sunday World.
Michelle Stanistreet, the NUJ’s general secretary, has asked News International to clarify Mohan’s reference to “DNA” and expressed “grave concern for the future of employment at the newspaper”.
She said: “What exactly is meant by the term ‘the DNA at the heart of the Sun’? Will staff be targeted for redundancy on the basis of not having the ‘Sun DNA’?
“How is it defined and is it a national characteristic? How is it measured and who determines the appropriate level of ‘Sun DNA’ when it comes to redundancy or recruitment?”
Insiders at News International dismissed suggestions that “DNA” was a veiled reference to job losses.