James Chessell resigns as managing director of publishing at Nine

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Chessell will continue to work for Nine in 2024, leading their engagement with Government and digital platform partners.

James Chessell has resigned from his role as managing director of publishing at Nine after two years in the role.

Chessell steps down from overseeing The Australian Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. He will continue to work with the company in the new year, leading Nine’s engagement with Government and digital platform partners.

He leaves the role after standing by articles published by the company’s newspapers about the high-profile investigations on disgraced soldier Ben Roberts-Smith.

Stepping into the role in an acting capacity from January is Tory Maguire, the executive editor of The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, WAtoday and Brisbane Times.

Nine CEO Mike Sneesby welcomed Chessell’s new appointment, calling his experience and knowledge of the media landscape “invaluable as we navigate the developing regulatory and commercial environments” in an internal note to staff.

Sneesby also acknowledged Maguire stepping up to the managing director of publishing role, calling her “an excellent executive” and a “key member of our Group Leadership Team”.

Chessell said: “It has been an absolute thrill to work in and around our newsrooms for the best part of two decades. Even on the not-so-good days, it’s the best job in the world.”

Chessell also wished the best to his successor, Maguire, and thanked his publishing leadership team. He said: “I’ve been very lucky to have such a capable and excellent group of people making me look good. Each of those people lead teams that support the incredible, independent journalism we produce.”

“While I look forward to working with Nine on an ongoing basis, today’s announcement represents a big change for me in the new year. I’ll miss being a direct part of the most important public interest journalism machine in the country. There’s nothing like it,” he concluded.

Chessell, a former reporter at the Age and Walkley award winner, was vocal in standing up for journalism that is in the public interest in the defamation case launched by Ben Roberts-Smith after losing his war crimes defamation trial against Nine Newspapers in June.

See also: Ben Roberts-Smith to appeal defamation lawsuit loss

Top image: James Chessell

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