Editor-in-chief Verashni Pillay leaves the M&G

The Mail & Guardian is sad but proud as it bids farewell to its editor-in-chief Verashni Pillay, who is set to join the Huffington Post’s new edition in South Africa as its editor-in-chief.

Verashni has been with the M&G for a total of six years including a year as editor, where she has achieved a remarkable amount together with her deputy Beauregard Tromp.

“Verashni managed to effect a much needed turn-around at the Mail & Guardian in a very short space of time,” said CEO Hoosain Karjieker. 

“We are loathe to let her go but equally we realise what a brilliant opportunity this is for her and don’t want to hold her back.”

Verashni joined the publication on the back of retrenchments, resignations and declining circulation. She recruited a strong editorial team, including Beauregard as news editor and later deputy. Together they managed to arrest the circulation decline and dramatically grow the numbers, and then restructure the newsroom to lower costs and still hire a very strong editorial team.

Beauregard will be in place as acting editor, bolstered by other senior managers like Matthew du Plessis as managing editor, Phillip de Wet as associate editor, Shaun de Waal as editor-at-large, Matuma Letsoalo as politics editor and Jessica Bezuidenhout as head of investigations.

“The M&G has benefited greatly from Verashni’s leadership but we now have solid plans and an editorial vision in place, not to mention a very talented and experienced newsroom,” said Beauregard. 

“It’s obviously sad to see her go but we know she is a digital native at heart and this new position is a dream job for her in many ways.”

Verashni expressed her sadness at leaving the M&G

“I definitely was not looking to leave but this amazing opportunity landed very suddenly, in the week. That coupled with the fact that we have such a solid team and newsroom leadership made me feel confident that I can make the move. 

“Freeing up my position for an editor with fresh energy and skills also means that the M&G will have the strongest possible foundation as it enters into a new phase of its future that will see a growth of funded journalism and digital consumption.”

Verashni will join Huffington Post South Africa from November 7 and the publication will announce a new editor shortly.

The M&G has seen a growth of nearly 30% in its digital audience in the last year thanks to the introduction of the new daily edition, which sees up to 10 pieces of quality articles being published on the site daily. A new site relaunch and digital strategy has seen a fundamental change in the newsroom, which has improved the quality of our journalism across platforms. In addition, there have been a series of talented individuals hired across sections, dramatically transforming the newsroom in terms of race and gender as well as innovation and ideas.

“The M&G is in a very strong position thanks to the team that are in place,” said Verashni. “It is incredibly difficult to walk away from a place that has become my home and family, but the M&G is much bigger than any editor and has shown that it can overcome anything. It can only go upwards from here on.”

Read Verashni’s farewell letter here.

Staff Reporter
Guest Author

Study unpacks the ‘hidden racism’ at Stellenbosch

Students say they feel unseen and unheard at the university because of their skin colour

Workers’ R60m ‘lost’ in banks scam

An asset manager, VBS Mutual Bank and a Namibian bank have put the retirement funds of 26 000 municipal workers in South Africa at risk

‘Judge President Hlophe tried to influence allocation of judges to...

Deputy Judge President Patricia Goliath accuses Hlophe of attempting to influence her to allocate the case to judges he perceived as ‘favourably disposed’ to former president Jacob Zuma

SAA grounds flights due to low demand

SAA is working to accommodate customers on its sister airlines after it cancelled flights due to low demand

Press Releases

MTN unveils TikTok bundles

Customised MTN TikTok data bundles are available to all prepaid customers on *136*2#.

Marketers need to reinvent themselves

Marketing is an exciting discipline, offering the perfect fit for individuals who are equally interested in business, human dynamics and strategic thinking. But the...

Upskill yourself to land your dream job in 2020

If you received admission to an IIE Higher Certificate qualification, once you have graduated, you can articulate to an IIE Diploma and then IIE Bachelor's degree at IIE Rosebank College.

South Africans unsure of what to expect in 2020

Almost half (49%) of South Africans, 15 years and older, agree or strongly agree that they view 2020 with optimism.

KZN teacher educators jet off to Columbia University

A group of academics were selected as participants of the programme focused on PhD completion, mobility, supervision capacity development and the generation of high-impact research.

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.