'Spectator' editor in shock exit

Alice-Azania Jarvis
Saturday 29 August 2009 00:00

The editor of The Spectator, Matthew d'Ancona, considered one of Fleet Street's bright hopes, suddenly exited the magazine yesterday, shocking staff.

Mr d'Ancona, 41, disappeared from the office a fortnight ago with "swine flu", sources said. The former student of medieval confession, who took the post in 2006 when Boris Johnson resigned, did not return calls last night.

A protégé of the publisher Andrew Neil will be installed as the new editor: Fraser Nelson, 36, has been promoted from political editor of the conservative weekly. He will formally seize the helm on 7 September.

Office sources attributed Mr d'Ancona's departure to a fall-out with Mr Neil, although both men said that Mr d'Ancona had other projects in mind.

"After more than three-and-a-half delightful and rewarding years as editor, exciting opportunities are arising and I have decided to move on," Mr d'Ancona said in a statement. He endorsed his replacement.

During his tenure, circulation rose from 61,000 to 75,000, online unique users were up 70 per cent and the CoffeeHouse political blog was established.

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