The management board of EL PAÍS has agreed to name a new editor-in-chief of the newspaper, beginning the established process for such an appointment. Manuel Mirat, the CEO of the PRISA group – which owns EL PAÍS – has proposed Javier Moreno as the replacement of Soledad Gallego-Díaz, who, after completing her initial two-year commitment, has requested to step down from the role. The handover, which was communicated on Monday to the company’s works committee, will be subject to a non-binding confidence vote by the newspaper’s staff, which will take place on Wednesday. Once the result of the consultation is known, the management board will ratify the appointment.
Soledad Gallego-Díaz, who will continue to be linked to EL PAÍS and will regularly contribute to its pages, “has met the objectives that she committed to when she took on the highest responsibility of the daily with undoubted success,” the company stated in a press release. “Her performance has seen a focus on the foundational values that inspire EL PAÍS and a revitalization of the best practices of journalism as laid out in the daily’s Style Guide,” the statement added. What’s more, she has overseen the introduction of the newspaper’s subscription model, which has been operating since May 1.
Javier Moreno, who was the EL PAÍS editor-in-chief from 2006 to 2014, and who has been the editor-in-chief of EL PAÍS América since June 2018, will face the challenge of completing the digital transformation of the leading Spanish-language newspaper, and of developing the subscription model that has just been introduced.
Javier Moreno was born in Paris in 1963. He has a degree in Chemistry from the University of Valencia (1988), and worked in that profession in Germany – BASF, Ludwigshafen – until 1992, the year that he completed the Madrid Autonomous University (UAM) and EL PAÍS masters course in journalism. He first joined the Business section of the newspaper, and in 1994 he transferred to the Mexico newsroom, which was the embryo of the current EL PAÍS América edition. After returning to Spain in 1997, he worked in the International section. In 1999, he was appointed editor of the Business section, and in 2002 he became the correspondent for the paper in Berlin. In 2003, he was appointed editor-in-chief of PRISA’s business newspaper, Cinco Días.
In 2005 he returned to EL PAÍS, initially in charge of the Sunday edition, and then as managing editor. In 2006, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the newspaper, he was appointed editor-in-chief, staying in the role until May 2014. During that time, the newspaper underwent the first major redesign of its print edition since it was founded. He also merged the print and digital sections in order to launch the current online edition.
The newsroom was involved in international exclusives such as the leak of secret US embassy cables, together with The New York Times and The Guardian, the exclusive known as Chinaleaks, as well as relevant domestic stories such as the so-called “Bárcenas papers,” and many more. In 2013, he launched the Americas edition of the paper.
After leaving his role in 2014, Moreno became the founding director of the Leading European Newspaper Alliance (LENA), which groups together eight top-flight newspapers in Europe: Le Figaro, Le Soir, Tages-Anzeiger, Tribune de Genève, Die Welt, La Repubblica, Gazeta Wyborcza and EL PAÍS. He headed up the UAM-EL PAÍS Journalism School from December 2017 until June 2018, when he was appointed editor-in-chief of EL PAÍS in America, which is based in Mexico City.
The professional career of Soledad Gallego-Díaz (Madrid, 1951) has been linked to EL PAÍS for more than four decades, and she is the newspaper’s first female editor-in-chief. She studied at Spain’s Official Journalism School and found her first job at the agency Pyresa, before she moved to a publication called Cuadernos para el Diálogo, staying there until it closed in 1978. She joined EL PAÍS shortly after it was founded, in 1976, as a contributor specializing in politics, while still working at Cuadernos para el Diálogo, until she joined the politics section of the newspaper. She was a parliamentary reporter during some of the most intense moments of Spain’s transition to democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco. Together with Federico Abascal and José Luis Martínez, she managed to obtain, and exclusively publish, a draft of the 1978 Spanish Constitution.
Toward the end of 1979, she became the EL PAÍS correspondent in Brussels. Her experience in the field of international news was completed during those years, with two other top-level postings, in London and Paris.
Once back in the central newsroom, she was first appointed deputy editor, and then later, managing editor of the newspaper, a role that she held for five years. Later, she was a correspondent in New York and Buenos Aires, as well as once again taking on the roles of managing editor and readers’ editor.
Soledad Gallego-Díaz is one of Spain’s most recognized journalists. She has been given a number of awards throughout her career, including the Salvador de Madariaga prize, the Margarita Rivière prize, the Francisco Cerecedo prize and the Cirilo Rodríguez prize. In 2018, she was awarded the Ortega y Gasset prize for her professional career.