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Avi Meshulam was named the new editor of the Maariv daily yesterday. Meshulam, 34, had been the editor-in-chief of the Walla! website for six years until this past summer. He hosts a program on Israel Radio and is a lecturer in communications at the College of Management.

Weeks ago, the new chairman of the Maariv group, Zaki Rakib, appointed Meshulam as a special adviser, but yesterday it transpired that he will be replacing Yoav Tzur as the newspaper's editor-in-chief; Tzur had held the post for a year and a half.

The newspaper announced that Tzur will become CEO of Maariv Holdings and will deal with special projects. Rakib expressed his thanks to Tzur yesterday and said Meshulam is bringing "knowledge and experience in the field of communications and editing in various media."

Meshulam said he was proud to be part of an operation with a 63-year-long journalism tradition. He pledged to "preserve the values of a free press that is loyal only to its readers" and to make Maariv a journalism organization whose contact with the public takes place through the entire range of media.

This appears to be the first time here that someone involved with Internet content is making the transition to a senior post in the older, traditional print medium. The appointment raises expectations of greater interaction between the print version of Maariv and its website. Meshulam declined to comments on his plans for the paper.