Alfie Erne is the news editor of The Sarnian which he joined when he was poached from a rival newspaper two days before The Sarnian’s launch.
When we first meet him in book 1, Dead in the Water, he is described as,
…sixty, smart, with perfect hair and straight teeth and a reputation for doing things right. The old way. He didn’t sit on desks. He didn’t call meetings outside of the conference room.
He is technically Oliver Carey’s line manager, but he’s more interested in breaking news than guiding someone else’s career, and the paper’s overall editor, Freya Carlisle, is fine with that. She wants The Sarnian to get every story first so she’d rather than he did that anyway. As a result, she assumes most of his staffing responsibilities herself.
He is a tireless newshound and very good at his job. He has a knack of getting quotes and interviews that others cannot obtain, and also formulated the newspaper’s scandalous house style, which is largely credited with being responsible for its rapidly increasing sales. The style does not appeal to all, though, with many higher-minded characters, Marc Renouf among them, considering it little more than a rag.