Irene Gentle has been named editor of the Toronto Star, the first woman to hold this position in the paper’s 126-year existence.
Gentle has been managing editor since June 2016, after joining the Star in 2011 as business editor and later assistant managing editor and city editor in 2012. Her promotion is effective immediately, as she replaces Michael Cooke, who announced in March that he would be retiring as editor.
She held a number of roles at The Hamilton Spectator before joining the Star.
Torstar publisher and CEO John Boynton said in a statement that Gentle’s abilities are “obvious.”
“Her strong editing background and exceptional newsroom leadership skills are obvious to everyone in the company. She has also a deep understanding and commitment to the transformation initiative now underway across our company,” said Boynton.
In a memo to Torstar staff, Boynton and Neil Oliver, executive vice-president of Torstar, said that Gentle brings a “wealth of understanding and experience to this key job.”
Gentle admitted to some excitement on Twitter after the announcement today:
Confess to feeling just a little…today. pic.twitter.com/gfVO1rJArA
— Irene Gentle (@IreneGentle) June 21, 2018
Gentle’s colleagues and fellow journalists shared their excitement and congratulations over Twitter as well:
The @TorontoStar has just named @IreneGentle as the next Editor in Chief. She makes history as the first woman editor in the Star’s 126-year history. Great day for the Star, for women, for journalism.
— Wendy Gillis (@wendygillis) June 21, 2018
— Jim Rankin (@Jleerankin) June 21, 2018
So thrilled to hear that @IreneGentle has been named editor-in-chief of the @TorontoStar. Irene was my first ever editor (she was city editor here at @TheSpec when I was fresh out of j-school) and I still have some of her encouraging emails saved in my inbox. Congrats Irene!
— Emma Reilly (@EmmaatTheSpec) June 21, 2018
— Kathy English (@kathyenglish) June 21, 2018
— Tanya Talaga (@TanyaTalaga) June 21, 2018