Gay Alcorn resigns after two years as editor of the Age to care for husband with health condition

The editor of the Age, Gay Alcorn, has resigned from her position after two years to take care of her husband, who is battling a serious health problem.

On Thursday, the Age and Sydney Morning Herald executive editor, Tory Maguire, announced Alcorn would be stepping down from the editorship of the 168-year-old Melbourne masthead now owned by Nine Entertainment.

“Gay has led The Age through two incredibly challenging and exhilarating years covering the story of a lifetime and she has done so with energy, passion, ambition and intellectual prowess,” Maguire said in a statement.

“Under her editorship The Age returned to the centre of Melbourne’s cultural life, broke countless stories with impact and challenged its readers to think widely and deeply.

“I will miss Gay’s fresh take on the big issues, as well as her infectious enthusiasm for news and ideas, and I look forward to having her back in the newsroom in the future.”

An internal and external recruitment process will be conducted to find a new editor while Michael Bachelard will continue as acting editor.

In a statement to the Nine masthead Alcorn said the job “has been the most challenging, interesting and rewarding in my professional life”.

“I love The Age and what it stands for. But it is the right thing for my family for me to step down and for The Age to have a new leader,” she said.

In September Alcorn put out a public “note from the editor” to readers to let them know she was stepping down.

“Some of you may have read that early this year, my husband David was diagnosed with a form of Motor Neurone Disease, or ALS,” Alcorn wrote.

“Those of you who have had experience with this disease will know how heart-breaking it is, and our family has been through all the emotions of denial, anger, grief and a form of acceptance.

“My intention is to return to The Age, but right now, I want and need to be with David and our family. I have received many emails from readers, and I appreciate every one.

“I have been touched by the kindness of friends, colleagues and strangers.”

Alcorn previously worked at Guardian Australia and returned to the Age in 2020, replacing Alex Lavelle who resigned after editing the paper for three years.