It’s the last day on the job for Cleo’s high-profile Australian editor Sharri Markson, who is leaving after the decision by Bauer media to merge the title with Dolly magazine under a single editor-in-chief.
The plan was sprung on staff from both titles at the start of the month and it was expected that Markson and Dolly editor Tiffany Dunk would compete for the new position.
Markson packed up her desk this week, however, and is now understood to be considering some career options.
“I’ve had a fantastic year at Cleo and I’m really proud of what the team and I have achieved – the magazine we created and the stories we broke,” Markson told Business Insider today.
“I’m honoured to have edited Cleo and give my heartfelt thanks to Bauer for the opportunity.
“I am excited for my next challenge.”
Markson’s background in hard news, with previous roles at News Corp’s The Sunday Telegraph and then at the Seven Network, was a break from the traditional lifestyle and features mould of previous editors. She led a relaunch of the magazine this year with reduced emphasis on sexual content and a focus on investigative reporting.
She has a reputation as a demanding newsroom leader and when she was appointed, Australian Women’s Weekly editor Helen McCabe — worked with Markson at News Corp — predicted: “She is going to rock the world of that magazine and it’s not going to know what’s hit it.”
Despite the fresh look and change in content focus, the magazine’s circulation declined by more than 17% year-on-year, following a trend across the industry as traditional magazine buyers turn to other sources of information.
Sydney University’s Wesley College opened an investigation into sexual harrassment of students after two of the magazine’s reporters infiltrated wild parties at the university earlier this year, with government ministers describing the subsequent revelations as “shocking”.
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