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Stephen Meurice had been editor-in-chief of the National Post since 2010.Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

Stephen Meurice, the editor-in-chief of the National Post who had been on staff since the paper's launch, stunned his newsroom on Thursday by abruptly leaving the paper.

Gerry Nott, Postmedia's senior vice-president, eastern region, informed the staff of Mr. Meurice's exit in a newsroom memo. "With his departure, we have lost a terrific editor, friend and colleague. In his 17 years here, Steve has provided superior editorial leadership through often difficult times and helped make the National Post and Financial Post essential reads in print and digitally. Please join me in thanking him and wishing him well in his next endeavour."

There was no immediate word of that next endeavour. Mr. Nott will serve as the Post's interim editor until a replacement is named.

Mr. Meurice had been editor-in-chief since 2010, working to transform the newsroom into a digital-first operation even as the paper's parent organization Postmedia repeatedly cut budgets. The company, which publishes nine city dailies as well as the Post, saw revenues decline 8.4 per cent, to $194-million, in the last quarter compared to the same period in the previous year. Print advertising revenue was down 12.2 per cent, with fall-offs in all major categories. Digital revenue dropped 5.1 per cent, which the company had been eyeing as a lifeline as print advertising continues to dry up.

Most of the country's major newspaper chains have introduced paywalls in bids to shore up the lost revenues.

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