Cooke resigns from Independent Star ‘to take on fresh challenges’

PAUL COOKE is to step down as managing director of Independent Star Limited — the publisher of the Irish Daily Star — at the end of this week.

A founding executive of the company, an equal joint venture between Independent News & Media (INM) and Express Newspapers in Britain, Mr Cooke announced his decision to resign, yesterday, stating that he wanted to pursue other challenges.

“There comes a point in everyone’s career when it is right to take on fresh challenges, and I have both the experience and energy to make a significant new contribution.

“I have specific plans whichI want to pursue, but theseare confidential and it wouldbe premature to discuss themat this point,” Mr Cooke said.

He is to be immediately replaced, as managing director, by the current editor of the Irish Daily Star, Ger Colleran.

INM chief executive and Independent Star chairman, Gavin O’Reilly expressed the firm’s gratitude to Mr Cooke “for his immense contribution to the company and its titles over the past 24 years”.

Recently filed accounts for the company show that operating profits at the business fell by 10% last year to €4.3 million.

Earlier this year, it closed its Sunday title — the Irish Daily Star Sunday — as a cost cutting effort, after eight unprofitable years and an individual loss of over €1m in 2010.

Potential internal successors to Mr Colleran, as editor at the Irish Daily Star, include existing senior editorial staff members Michael O’Kane and Danny Smith.

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