NME's Conor McNicholas to edit Top Gear magazine

NME editor Conor McNicholas is leaving the music weekly after seven years to become the new editor of Top Gear magazine.

A start date has not been confirmed, but BBC Magazines said he would join “in the next few months”. NME publisher IPC Media said an announcement would be made about the new NME editor “in due course”.

McNicholas, who was appointed NME editor in June 2002, said: “Anyone who knows me knows that my twin passions are music and cars. To swap one dream job for another is a huge thrill.

“From Arctic Monkeys to Aston Martin, I’m looking forward to being at the heart of another iconic British multi-platform brand.”

NME publishing director Paul Cheal said: “Conor has made a great contribution to the ongoing development of the NME.

“Over the last seven years he and his talented team have garnered plaudits and awards in equal measure, consistently creating the most innovative and compelling new music magazine on the newsstand today.

“We wish him all the very best after he leaves us. Meanwhile, for Conor and the team, it’s business as usual, while I focus on recruiting for one of the biggest jobs in magazine journalism.”

McNicholas was named entertainment magazine editor of the year in the 2005 British Society of Magazine Editors awards, and PPA best consumer editor in the same year.

He replaces Michael Harvey, who stepped down from the Top Gear editor job in April to go freelance.

Top Gear recorded a monthly circulation of 200,757 in the most recent set of official circulation figures from ABC, covering the second half of 2008.

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