Former Postimees editor: Paper's owner did not influence decision to quit

Peeter Helme resigned as editor-in-chief at Postimees on Friday.
Peeter Helme resigned as editor-in-chief at Postimees on Friday. Source: ERR

Peeter Helme says that his decision to quit his role as editor-in-chief at Estonia's largest daily, Postimees, was in no way affected by anything the paper's owner, businessman Margus Linnamäe, said.

Helme, who had been in the role since eary April, stepped down on Friday afternoon, for the sake of maintaining editorial peace at the paper, he said, prompting speculation that he had been ousted by a united front of editors and journalists at the paper.

Speaking on radio broadcast Rahva teenrid on ERR's Vikerraadio, a channel he is a former opinion editor of, Helme said that he had spoken to Linnamäe about the situation and that the latter had not done anything himself, to prompt the move.

Helme also would not be drawn on what went on at the paper leading up to his departure.

"I am not going to discuss the internal affairs at the editorial board. There are still disagreements within the group and sometimes these can be insurmountable. I really want to believe that Postimees is doing well. I have no doubt about that," he said.

Indrek Lepik, editor of the Postimees' opinion section, was one of several Postimees staff who reportedly wanted Helme to step down, ERR's online news in Estonian reported Friday evening.

Postimees executive publisher Merili Nikkolo and acting editor-in-chief Aivar Reinap are heading up the paper's newsroom in the meantime.

Helme, 41, replaced Lauri Hussar, who opted for a career in politics with the Estonia 200 party ahead of the European elections in May.

Postimees Grupp, the paper's parent company, also confirmed Andrus Raudsalu as CEO on Friday.

The original Vikerraadio interview (in Estonian) is here.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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