Phylicia Oppelt to edit the Sunday Times from March

01 February 2013 - 14:35 By Times LIVE

Times Media has announced that as from March 1, Phylicia Oppelt is taking over the reins as editor of the Sunday Times, South Africa’s best-selling weekly newspaper.

Oppelt will become the first female editor in the 107-year history of the Sunday Times.

She is currently editor of Times Media’s national daily newspaper, The Times.

Ray Hartley, the out-going editor of the Sunday Times, will be taking a two month sabbatical, and on his return will assume a senior position within the Times Media Group.

"As editor of the Sunday Times, Ray has been instrumental in restoring the paper’s status as South Africa’s leading investigative title," said Mike Robertson, managing director of Times Media.

During Hartley’s tenure as editor, Sunday Times journalists have won virtually all awards on offer, including the most prestigious Standard Bank Sivukile and Taco Kuiper awards for investigative journalism. “Under his leadership the newspaper has undertaken some groundbreaking investigations – the awards the Sunday Times investigations team has won during the three years of his editorship are testament to that,” said Robertson.

Phylicia Oppelt has had a long and impressive career, which includes a four year period as a columnist and op-ed editor for the Sunday Times, editor at the Daily Dispatch (2005 – 2008), and editor of Business Times (2008 – 2010). In 2010, Oppelt was appointed as editor of the fledgling national daily newspaper, The Times, which entered the market in June 2007 under the editorship of Hartley.

Robertson says, "Phylicia has been an outstanding editor of The Times taking it to a leadership position in the all important Gauteng market. It is a testament to her skill and dedication to the craft of journalism that she becomes the first woman editor of SA's leading newspaper."

Oppelt has also received significant recognition from within the media industry, and in 2011 was named winner of the prestigious 1st for Women Insurance Brokers Women in The Media Award.

“The name of a successor to Oppelt as editor of The Times will be made in due course,” concluded Robertson.