'Telegraph' appoints 37-year-old as editor

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The Independent Online

A tumultuous year at The Daily Telegraph continued yesterday when rising star Will Lewis was made one of the youngest editors in newspaper history.

Lewis, 37, who was recently promoted to oversee the final stages of the paper's move from Canary Wharf to Victoria, takes over from John Bryant, who remains editor-in-chief of the Telegraph Group.

Telegraph staff were digesting the news of the appointment.

Lewis is known among his staff as a fiercely ambitious executive, who is considered by some to have great potential.

One of his earliest challenges will be to repair staff morale damaged by a series of acrimonious departures of senior journalists. Up to 54 editorial redundancies are expected in total, with senior figures including the Paris and Washington correspondents and New York bureau chief already having been told their contracts will be terminated. The redundancies could yet lead to strike action.

His in-tray will also include demands to implement podcast and video training for writers while satisfying the owners, the Barclay brothers, that costs are being tightly controlled.

Lewis is the sixth editor on either the daily or Sunday titles in the short reign of the Barclays, following Bryant, who has been acting editor since last November, his predecessor Martin Newland, Sarah Sands, Dominic Lawson and current Sunday Telegraph editor, Patience Wheatcroft.

Lewis, who was employed 14 months ago as business editor, was promoted to become joint deputy editor of the Telegraph before his first day of work on the paper.

In August he was made managing director (editorial) with responsibility for an office move from Canary Wharf to Victoria and a new editorial direction with greater emphasis on the internet.

The new offices are based around a hub, designed so that journalists can write for the print and website versions of the paper and create podcasts so people can listen to the paper.

Prior to his move to the Telegraph Lewis was business editor of the Sunday Times and before that spent eight years at the Financial Times where he was global news editor, mergers and acquisitions editor and investment correspondent. He has also worked for the Mail on Sunday.

Telegraph Group chief executive Murdoch MacLennan said: "I am delighted that William Lewis is taking up the editorship of The Daily Telegraph, building on the brilliant work that John Bryant has done. "This is a time of great change for the paper, and for the rest of the company.

"As we complete our move to Victoria, and the integration of our business, Will has the vision, the energy and the determination not just to keep the Telegraph at the top of the business, but - working closely with deputy editor Ian MacGregor - to inspire his team to build our brand across a whole new range of media products and win a new generation of readers."

Mr Lewis said: "The editorship of Britain's leading quality newspaper is the most prestigious job in Fleet Street and I am honoured to take it up.

"We have enormous opportunities ahead of us. With a brand known for its honesty and integrity, and a brilliantly talented team of reporters and columnists, The Daily Telegraph and our range of multi-media products have an exceptionally bright future."