Katharine Viner appointed editor-in-chief of the Guardian

Katharine Viner is believed to have beaten Ian Katz, the BBC Newsnight editor and a former Guardian executive, to the post of editor-in-chief

Adam Sherwin
Friday 20 March 2015 18:23
Katharine Viner is currently the paper’s US Editor
Katharine Viner is currently the paper’s US Editor

The Guardian has appointed the first female editor in its 194-year history after Katharine Viner was announced as the successor to Alan Rusbridger.

Ms Viner is believed to have beaten Ian Katz, the BBC Newsnight editor and a former Guardian executive, to the post of editor-in-chief. Interviews with two shortlisted candidates were held on Friday.

Currently the paper’s US Editor, Ms Viner, 43, has worked at the Guardian for 18 years, having previously set up the paper’s digital edition in Australia and edited the Weekend supplement.

Ms Viner won 53% of the votes in an internal staff election organised by the paper’s National Union of Journalists chapel, designed to inform the Trust of the journalists’ preferred candidate.

Her supporters within the paper were determined to ensure that the Scott Trust, the non-profit owner of The Guardian, should appoint the paper’s first female editor.

The Trust chose her over Mr Katz, 47, a long-time deputy to Mr Rusbridger, who worked at The Guardian for 23 years before accepting the Newsnight offer.

Ms Viner takes over in May from Mr Rusbridger, who was credited with leading the paper’s transition into a digital, global brand and published high-profile investigations into government surveillance, phone-hacking and leaked diplomatic cables. Mr Rusbridger will Chair the Scott Trust.

The Guardian Media Group (GMG) reported a £20m loss over the past year and Ms Viner will have to balance her predecessor’s desire to pursue further international expansion plans with a need to make internal savings. However GMG is sitting on £800m of cash reserves following the sale of a £600m stake in Trader Media Group last year. Andrew Miller, GMG chief executive, will step down in June.

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