Sazi Hadebe, who was appointed Isolezwe editor in July, is responsible for the daily and both the weekend titles. Slindile Khanyile has moved from her position as weekend editor to support Hadebe as deputy editor. Isolezwe ngeSonto's news editor, Sandile Mdadane has been promoted to weekend editor.
"We've kept our news environment open across the titles," says Hadebe. "It's important that we can follow stories and share ideas but the Saturday and Sunday editions have their own content emphasis and tone," he says.
Mdadane (@SansMdadane) has been in senior editorial positions on Isolezwe ngeSonto since its launch in March 2008. He has worked across sports, education, entertainment and politics in his 14 years in journalism, and regards his promotion as a welcome opportunity to develop new skills. "As weekend editor, I'll be overseeing two quite different titles," he says. "Saturdays are particularly strong on human interest, advice and sport while Sundays are far more entertainment-driven," he says.
A Mamelodi Sundowns supporter, the 36-year-old Mdadane is father of two sons. In addition to his passion for soccer, he enjoys music and poetry - dabbling as a guitarist and poet in his spare time.
Cutting his teeth as an arts reporter at a weekly isiZulu newspaper in 1997, the same year in which he graduated from the ML Sultan Technikon (now known as Durban University of Technology), Mdadane was also launch editor for a popular isiZulu entertainment and lifestyle supplement.
For Khanyile, the move is a step up but also a step back from her 'baby', Isolezwe ngoMgqibelo. With its first birthday at the end of August, the title is a blueprint of publishing success. "Our first ABC was just below 60,000. We almost hit 70,000 in our second audit and our average is looking even higher for April to June!"
"There's a youthful energy and enthusiasm driving Isolezwe," says Hadebe. "That needs to be balanced with rigorous journalism and the editorial capacity to nurture and train staff."
The strong editorial structure aims to sustain growth of the ten-year-old daily and the younger weekend titles, Isolezwe ngeSonto (2008) and Isolezwe ngoMgqibelo (2011).
"All three titles are growing, placing increasing demands on the editorial staff," say Joint General Managers of Independent Newspapers KZN, Brian Porter and Greg le Roux. "Running a 24/7 news operation can be brutal but Isolezwe has the added pressure of rapid circulation and advertising growth," says Porter.
No one knows KwaZulu-Natal quite like Independent Newspapers which has a stable of eight newspapers, each title having its own identity and brand. Independent Newspapers KZN is owned by the international Independent News & Media PLC Group and part of Independent News & Media SA.
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