Allister Heath: My Life In Media

'My priority is to make The Business a great success, ensure we scoop the Sunday papers on the big stories'

As of today, Allister Heath takes over the editorship of The Business, the weekly finance magazine owned by the Barclay brothers, the businessmen who own The Daily Telegraph. Until now, the magazine has been edited by Andrew Neil, who developed it from The Sunday Business newspaper and who remains editor-in-chief. Heath, aged 29, is also an associate editor of The Spectator. His scoops include revealing how Germany's tax burden is set to overtake Britain's, and the contents of the Conservative Party's Forsyth Commission report, which called for £21bn in tax cuts.

What inspired you to embark on a career in the media?

I'm hopelessly addicted to news and current affairs, and have an opinion on everything, so journalism was the obvious choice.

When you were 15 years old, which newspaper did your family get and did you read it?

I grew up in France in an unusually media-less household, with the exception of my father's subscription to The Economist. I fell in love with that publication from the age of 13 and always read it cover to cover. Our copy used to turn up in the post on a Saturday and my weekend would be ruined if it was late and I had to wait until Monday.

And what were your favourite TV and radio programmes?

My parents didn't own a television, but I listened to the World Service, as well as to French radio.

Describe your job.

I edit The Business, the only weekly business news magazine in Britain. My aim is to build it into Britain's answer to America's BusinessWeek, Fortune or Forbes. This is an incredibly exciting project.

What's the first media you turn to in the mornings?

I first turn to Sky News and CNBC, while simultaneously scanning the Telegraph and Wall Street Journal websites. I then read several blogs and websites, including Guido Fawkes, Daniel Finkelstein and the Drudge Report, before moving to the newspapers. I start with the Sun, turn to the Daily Mail, and then The Guardian, Times, Independent, Telegraph, FT, International Herald Tribune and, last but not least, the Wall Street Journal Europe. I also check the American and French papers online.

Do you consult any media sources during the working day?

I constantly scan a dozen British and American websites, keep Sky News on in the background, consult Bloomberg and make sure that I keep abreast of the Evening Standard's various editions.

What is the best thing about your job?

I get paid to do something that I love.

And the worst?

Rarely having the opportunity to write anything longer than 2,000 words, or spending more than a few hours on any single article.

How do you feel you influence the media?

This happens whenever we publish an exclusive news story or agenda-setting feature which is then followed up by the rest of the media.

What's the proudest achievement in your working life?

There are two: becoming associate editor of The Spectator and now also being given the opportunity to edit The Business.

And what's your most embarrassing moment?

Being phoned up by an editor asking for copy five minutes before deadline, when I was utterly unaware I was supposed to be filing, because of a misunderstanding. Similar catastrophes have happened to me twice in the past five years; I still have nightmares about them.

At home, what do you tune in to?

I listen to the Today programme, which is as indispensable as it is infuriating. I hop between every 24-hour TV news channel, from Fox News to Al-Jazeera.

What is your Sunday paper? And do you have a favourite magazine?

The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Observer, the Mail on Sunday and the News of the World. My two favourite magazines are The Business and The Spectator, but I like Prospect and The Economist in Britain, and Reason, the Weekly Standard, National Review and City Journal in America.

Name the one career ambition you want to realise before you retire.

At the moment my only priority is to make The Business a great success, ensure we scoop the Sunday papers on the big stories, and provide our readers with analysis, comment and ideas that change the way they think about business and investment opportunities.

If you didn't work in the media what would you do?

I would probably have started off as an economics lecturer and then, disgusted by the poor pay, sought out refuge in the City.

Who in the media do you most admire and why?

Paul Dacre, the editor of the Daily Mail, who understands his readers incredibly well. The Daily Telegraph's Andrew Pierce is an astonishing story-breaking machine, and Stephen Pollard is a beautiful and hugely prolific writer.

The CV

1995 Moves to Britain after growing up and attending school in France

1998 Graduates from the London School of Economics

2000 Completes MPhil degree in economics from Hertford College, Oxford

2002 Joins The Business as economics correspondent

2005 Promoted to deputy editor of The Business

2006 Appointed associate editor of The Spectator

2007 Becomes editor of The Business

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow after showing his Spring 2015 collection in September, his last show before his death
fashionThe passing of the legendary designer has left a vacancy: couturier to America’s royalty, says fashion editor Alexander Fury
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Head of Ad Sales - UK Broadcast

competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: An award-winning global mul...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel your sales role is l...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Vendor Services Manager (IT) - Central London

£50000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Vendor Services Manager (...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are