Lebedev Hit By Huge Indy Losses

Evgeny Lebedev has suffered a huge hit to his pocket after his company announced losses of £24 million for the Independent, i and Evening Standard newspapers over the last financial year. Things were particularly bad for the Indy, which made a pre-tax loss of £18 million. Owen Jones may not get that pay rise he is lobbying after…

Total losses for Lebedev Holdings rose by 22.5% while an unnamed Indy director took home over half a million quid in his pay package – the same amount of money being haemorrhaged by Lebedev’s rags each week.

What a way to run a business…

Indy Sketch-writer Misses Paper’s Splash

The Indy’s Simon Carr used his sketch today to slam the idea that the Tories have reverted to their “nasty party” image. Carr rubbished the suggestion, arguing:

“If that’s the return of the Nasty Party, there’ll be an awful lot of nice people nodding along with it. It’s the Gordon Brown school of sketch writing to call David Cameron nasty, with his nice hair, nice manner, nice wife, nice – I don’t know – internet history, and perfectly nice way of presenting the facts of life to a recalcitrant nation of benefit dependants.”

Guido imagines Carr would be feeling brave if, say, his newspaper had run the headline “Return of the nasty party” the day before. Oh wait…

The Penny is Dropping

Guido understands that Johann Hari’s close friend, protégé and replacement at the Indy “Laurie Penny” could be about to get caught up in a similar quote fabrication scandal. With the Indy’s terrible handling of one star’s demise, Guido does not imagine that their new £25,000 per annum columnist could, or would, receive the same leniency afforded to Hari.

Hari slayer Brian Whelan is up to something, but many have long suspected that the “voice of a generation” was actually listening to voices in her head. Take this correction to her infamous Guardian article about her alleged time spent taking her clothes off on a stage:

“This article was amended on 8 July 2009. Changes were made to the second paragraph to make clear that the author was not persuaded by the managers of a local burlesque troupe to get into stripping, but did so voluntarily. The Burlesque troupe, with which the author performed, created a new format for the show after the Edinburgh 2005 run, not before, as the article originally suggested. The sentence beginning “Peeling off my fluffy underwear…” was moved from the end of the relevant paragraph to the beginning to correct this impression.” The words “after I left” were added before “as my troupe became more successful” to make clear that Laurie Penny did not perform in the new show.”

If you read the article without the words “after I left”, it is a riveting personal read and once added it becomes clear that the second half is almost totally embellished. Guido is confident that the Indy would have done a full and thorough check up of their recent hire in the wake of the Hari scandal. Once was bad enough, but twice…

UPDATE:

Dirty Hari Returning to Indy in “Four or Five Weeks”

Despite Chris Blackhurst admitting that the paper’s reputation had suffered great damage at the hands of Johann Hari, the Indy editor also confirmed to Leveson, taking a sip of water and looking directly into the camera,  that the disgraced fraudster will be “returning as a columnist” in the next four or five weeks. He’s banned from conducting interviews though…

Apparently the fact Hari produced a doctor’s note saying he was mental was enough to satisfy the internal investigation, and subsequently the fearless inquiry into press ethics. No mention of late night racist, incest fantasy stories though..

Steve’s Pitch

They say that history is written by the victors, but that hasn’t stopped the Indy’s Steve Richards trying to buck the trend. Upon reading his “Gordon is still great and should come back and teach us all how to save the world” piece, you could be forgiven for thinking his copy was filed after the festive sherry was passed around the Indy office, but something else piqued Guido’s interest. There are mentions to previous Prime Ministers, as well as their biographies. The whole thing reads like one long job application…

Is Steve lining himself up to write the book?

The Evening Independent

The Indy and the Standard have begun a slow merger. Despite talk of “separate identities” the Lebedev’s pet Pravda projects have merged their sports and business desks. Guido got thinking, why has no newspaperever tried to go national in the evenings? Only a few more years left to give it a go…

Indy’s Independence Whacked

Have you noticed anything different about the Indy in the last couple of days?

Well it seems that the paper has finally conceded that it is politically biased and susceptible to proprietorial influence. Given Evgeny Lebedev “speaks regularly” to the editor Chris Blackhurst, it was only a matter of time before the paper would have to quietly drop their lofty pretensions…

UPDATE: Co-conspirators point out that the change coincided with the arrival of Chris Blackhurst in the editor’s chair.

Blackhurst Off the Irony Scale

As ironic statements go, Indy editor Chris Blackhurst’s yesterday is surely worthy of a prize. Discussing regulation on Radio 4’s Media Show he came out in support of Ivan Lewiski’s state register of journalist.

With a straight face he said the public saw:

“journalists behaving badly and nothing happening to them… frankly, maybe we should look at striking off errant journalists.”

Applicable to anyone not called Johann…

Another Russian Mafia Hit at the Indy

Adam Leigh, the assistant news editor at the Indy, has been given the bullet. He was appointed by the old editor, Simon Kelner. His uncle.[…]

+ READ MORE +

Chris Bryant Replaces Richard Ingrams at the Indy

Guido has a sense that the Indy has, post-Hari, improved under the new editor Chris Blackhurst, the news values seem to have sharpened up a bit. It is somewhat questionable however that it is really as free from proprietorial interference […]

+ READ MORE +

Lebedev in TV Punch-Up
Owner of the Indy and Evening Standard Lashes Out

Will we be reading about this in his papers?[…]

+ READ MORE +

Indy Exposes Very Little

This morning’s Indy front page looked better than the usual polar-bear-on-a-melting-ice-cap stories, it promised exposure of 8 years of dirty work for Fleet Street by a blagging private eye, Stephen Whittamore. We actually learn nothing really new from the article. […]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Liz Kendall is asked by Tom Newton Dunn if she would ever ban the Sun from one of her press conferences:

“If you stripped naked and ran in front of me, Tom, I might have second thoughts about it, but apart from that, no.”

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