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Nic Dawes to replace Haffajee at M&G

Nic Dawes, currently Mail & Guardian associate deputy editor, will replace outgoing editor-in-chief Ferial Haffajee from 1 June 2009, M&G Media announced today, Thursday 2 April. Dawes will be supported in this role by Rapule Tabane, who is to be promoted to the new post of deputy editor-in-chief.
Haffajee, whose resignation was announced on Monday 30 March, is heading off to helm City Press.

Overall responsibility

Rapule Tabane, incoming deputy editor-in-chief and Nic Dawes, incoming editor-in-chief, of the Mail & Guardian.
Dawes will have overall responsibility for the company's print and multi-media products, including the flagship Mail & Guardian weekly newspaper, and the Mail & Guardian Online.

Commented M&G Media CEO Trevor Ncube, “Nic and Rapule are the products of our succession planning and we are confident that they are ready for this challenge. Ferial has trained them well and it is time to reap the benefits of our planning”.

Dawes and Tabane have each made their way through the ranks of the M&G newsroom, and their appointments are a direct result of the paper's efforts to “grow its own timber”.

Combined roles

Dawes joined the M&G as associate editor in 2004 from ThisDay newspaper, and has since combined roles as an investigative and political reporter with editing duties and the running of the M&G's Cape Town bureau. He was part of the team that broke the story linking police chief Jackie Selebi to the underworld networks surrounding Brett Kebble, and has also contributed extensive news and analysis on politics and economic policy.

Tabane joined the M&G as senior political correspondent six years ago from Independent Newspapers and quickly made his mark, leading to his promotion as political editor two years later. He has led the paper's incisive political coverage, a crucial factor in the paper's phenomenal circulation growth of recent years. The paper reported that its audited circulation has increased from 48 292 in 2006 to the current 58 258, while its readership has grown from approximately 300 000 to 500 000.

“Editing the Mail & Guardian is an awesome responsibility,” said Dawes. “I would like to think that my time at the paper has prepared me well, but the fact is that I am being entrusted with a national institution at an enormously challenging time for our country and our industry. I am confident that we can rise to those challenges principally because I will have the support of Rapule, an extraordinary newsroom team, and the legacy left behind by Ferial.

“Thrilling possibilities”

Trevor Ncube, M&G Media CEO.
“I am grateful to Trevor Ncube and the board for entrusting me with the job of continuing to building a fine newspaper and website. There are thrilling possibilities - and responsibilities - for journalism in this country right now, and for an industry that is still figuring out how to cope with the impact of new media and distribution models. I can't imagine a better job.”

Commented Haffajee on the two appointments, “Nic is one of the cleverest people I know and he is a brilliant journalist. That he's a good cyclist and a fine cook also helps to round off one of our industry's shining lights. Rapule already leads our coverage of politics and with his strength of character and team-building skills is perfectly poised to take the team into a challenging future.”

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