Media24’s news chief Fergus Sampson has resigned, the company announced in a statement issued late on Thursday. He will be replaced by Ishmet Davidson, head of local and southern newspapers, who will step in as acting head in the interim.
“I want to thank him sincerely for his 12 years of service to Media24. He is a great newspaper man – charismatic, streetwise and smart. We will all miss him. He has been a great colleague. I wish him everything of the best,” said CEO Esmare Weideman, adding that it had been “an honour” to work alongside Sampson.
Sampson says it is the right time to leave the company to pursue other interests. “Media24 News has many of the finest and bravest journalists in our country, and I salute them,” he said. “It has been an honour and a privilege to work with so many talented and dedicated people in the company.”
Sampson made his name by founding the Daily Sun with the late Deon du Plessis and went on to turn it into the biggest daily newspaper in Africa. For the past two years he has been at the helm of Media24’s News division – one of the largest newspaper publishers in Africa.
Sampson serves on the boards of the Natal Witness, South African Press Association (SAPA), Print and Digital Media South Africa (PDMSA) and MultiChoice.
“Fergus has been a steady and courageous leader at a time when newspapers have faced unprecedented pressure in a challenging market,” Media24’s chief financial officer Manie Mayman said. “I wish him well in all future endeavours and look forward to continuing our friendship in the years to come.”
Sampson leaves Media24 at the end of October.
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