Award-winning Observer editor to take helm at Independent

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The Independent Online

Simon Kelner, Editor-in-Chief of The Independent and Independent on Sunday for the past 10 years, has been appointed Managing Director and Editor-in Chief of the titles.

He will be responsible for the commercial, marketing and circulation departments, and will be in charge of the editorial management of the two papers. He will take up his new duties at the end of May.

Roger Alton, previously editor of the Observer, has been appointed editor of The Independent. He was named Editor of the Year in the What The Papers Say Awards in 2000 and Editor of the Year in the GQ Awards of 2005. The Observer, which he edited for nine-and-a-half years, was named Newspaper of the Year in the 2007 British Press Awards. He was previously an assistant editor of The Guardian.

Ivan Fallon, chief executive of INM (UK) said: "The combination of Simon Kelner and Roger Alton, perhaps the two most outstanding editors of recent years, will be formidable. Between them, they have won just about every award in the business. Simon is one of the most innovative and imaginative newspapermen in the industry, and he will now head a talented new team which will take The Independent into a major new and exciting phase.

"Roger Alton is a journalist of terrific drive, experience and energy, who has been instrumental in reviving the fortunes of The Observer, and the awards he has received over the past few years are ample testament to his journalistic skill. I am delighted that, of the many options open to him, he has chosen to join The Independent. He takes over a paper in rude health, with some of the best writers in British newspapers, and I am sure he will lead them, in his own way, to even more success."

Roger Alton said: "I am immensely privileged to have the chance to work on The Independent, which is a brilliant and innovative paper, and represents an opportunity to build on the great achievements of Simon and past editors. It has a terrific team of world-class writers and journalists and remains one of the best-known and most-admired media brands anywhere. I believe there is a huge opportunity to capitalise on its strengths and international reputation."

Daryl Fielding is appointed Commercial Director of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. She joins the paper from Ogilvy and Mather, where she was a managing partner. She was at Ogilvy for 10 years, and led the development of the global campaign for Dove. Previously, she was at BMP, where she worked on communications for the Labour Party leading up to the 1997 election.

Simon Kelner said: "I am delighted that we have been able to recruit Daryl, who will bring to The Independent titles new thinking, a fresh perspective and a wealth of experience in the advertising industry. We already have a commercial department that punches above its weight, but under Daryl's leadership, I believe we can achieve even more success."