McCarthy, who has been in the role since March 2009, said that he had recently been planning changes to the newsroom operations, which had prompted him to consider his own future.
“After nearly 10 years in this very demanding role, I decided it was time for a break before I look for new challenges,” McCarthy said.
Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes paid tribute to McCarthy for his outstanding contribution to the company over the past decade.
“Brett has proved himself a great newspaper editor over many years. He has led The West with integrity and deepened the paper’s connection to the community. I have always respected his judgment,’’ he said.
Fewster said: “Brett led by example and set the agenda in WA. I would like to thank him for his contribution and his recent role in promoting the successful ‘We’re For You’ campaign. Brett leaves The West in the enviable position of reaching 91% of WA.”
McCarthy has worked in newspapers for more than 30 years since he started as a cadet journalist in Brisbane in 1984 straight out of high school. He moved to WA in 2001 as editor of The Sunday Times after having a successful career in Sydney at The Daily Mirror and The Daily Telegraph before rising to be deputy editor of The Sunday Telegraph.
“I’m really proud of what The West has achieved over the past 10 years. It has been a great journey,” he said.
“The proudest achievement of the newspaper while I’ve been editor was our role in the successful campaign to get WA a fair share of the GST.
“I’ve worked with a great team of first class journalists here at The West, some of the best in the country. I know they will continue to take this newspaper from strength to strength, telling the stories that matter to West Australians.
“I really feel now is the right time for me to move on. I appreciate Stokes and Fewster allowing that to happen quickly so I can enjoy the holidays with my wife and children before looking to the future,’’ McCarthy said.
McCarthy finishes at The West later today, November 30.