Christian May is New Editor of City AM

Normally hacks go spin, but in a canny move the Institute of Directors’ comms boss Christian May is the new editor of City AM. Having written hundreds of pro-business op-eds under other people’s by-line, May will take over at the paper later in the summer:

“City A.M. has been a daily read for me since I came to London seven years ago and it’s been an essential source of news and comment throughout my time at the Institute of Directors.

Few papers can rival City A.M. for its understanding of business, of markets and of life in the capital. 

I am very excited to be leading the paper into its tenth anniversary in September. I shall work tirelessly to repay the trust placed in me by the paper’s proprietors and to live up to the high standards set by those who have made the paper what it is. It is a great honour to join as editor, and I look forward to working on such a confident, dynamic and respected title.”

Allister Heath was 27 when he became the paper’s most famous editor, so far. May is 28…

Rusbridger Redux

rusbridger-banged-out

Rusbridger was banged out of the building by his staff last week. His successor is Katharine Viner:

kath-viner

He wrote his own obituary for his editorship in his last paper, it seems only right that the Guardian’s fiercest critics should have a look back as well.

Rusbridger bet big on digital; The Times, Telegraph and cash-starved Indy don’t really match The Guardian in the quality of their digital offer. Rusbridger decided on digital first before the other papers – some of which still hold back the best stories for the second edition to serve yesterday’s news in tomorrow’s papers – which doesn’t really cut it in the digital age. The second big bet was on a “free-to-air” model with no internet paywall. The Mail and The Guardian are both close to making this work financially, the jury is still out as to if the greater scale of advertising will trump paywall subscriptions. The Guardian’s mobile app is quite simply way ahead of any other British newspaper’s app.

Rusbridger maintained the liberal traditions of the paper, it is safe to say the editorial values of the Guardian and Guido clash. We’re believers in the liberating power and prowess of capitalism in raising living standards for all. They’re hand-wringing worriers about social justice who want to tax us into equality. So much for economics as politics by other means. However we’re admirers of the tenacity with which Rusbridger pursued some stories – phone hacking was mostly indefensible, the Snowden revelations were in the public interest, as were the Wikileaks revelations – which they handled well in the circumstances.

Rusbridger’s Guardian lost money, this along with their shifty offshore assets tax hypocrisy was a constant theme of ours for years. Guido believes that profit is the best guarantor of independence. A multiplicity of revenue streams means never being so dependent that you are compromised. The Guardian’s business model has profit as a secondary consideration, having succeeded in creating a massive tax efficient endowment from selling Auto Trader. If they don’t overspend too much that will last them for many decades yet and, even if they do, Liz Forgan told Guido that she could see a few billionaires endowing their brand of liberal journalism in perpetuity.

On balance as a news brand Rusbridger’s Guardian is a triumph, as a business less so. However, to be fair, who in the newspaper business has been more successful?

Two anecdotes: Guido was once cornered at an awards ceremony by Rusbridger’s two daughters, they physically pinned him to a pillar and berated him for an age – in no uncertain terms – for being sexist and, far more importantly, mean to their father. On recounting this story to Alan he literally beamed with fatherly pride.

Some years before that, at a think-tank lunch, Rusbridger was the guest speaker and positively glared at Guido throughout his talk on the difficulties of keeping a newspaper viable in the dawning digital age. When it came for questions he seized the moment to have a go back at Guido. Pointing his finger, he sneered “you’d probably be glad to see us go under, wouldn’t you, well?” At this point Guido turned to the chairman of the lunch: “This is under Chatham House rules, isn’t it? None of us can report who says what?” The chairman nodded. Guido turned back to Rusbridger, “Whenever I am abroad on holiday it is the paper I choose to buy for the breadth and depth of coverage. You edit one of the greatest papers in the world.” Deflated, Alan slumped back in his chair with a bemused grin…

Read Guido’s Sun on Sunday Column Online

ZAC

Will it be Goldsmith versus Khan in 2016? Get the latest on the London mayoral race in Guido’s Sun on Sunday column, free to read and not behind a paywall over on SunNation. Don’t miss out on:

ANDY

  • Labour leadership campaign turns nasty: rivals blast Burnham’s “extremist” online supporters

CLEGG

  • Which hobby has Nick Clegg taken up to pass the time?

SENDERS

  • The Cup Final isn’t the only footie loss the PM’s dealing with this weekend

BAG

  • Liz Kendall overheard in parliament: “I’ve been told my bag is s**t and I have to change it”
  • War heroes hit by rail strikers: Blind Veterans UK garden party with the Queen under threat from RMT strike
  • Chillaxing MPs get 48 day summer holiday. There are 93 days between July and December when they don’t have to turn up
  • Watson the anchor

Read today’s column for free, here

Rusbridger Steps Down After Spending £4.5 Billion

RUSSY

So, farewell then Alan Rusbridger, stepping down today after 20 years as editor of the Guardian.

Since Rusbridger took the helm in 1995, Guardian Media Group has declared operating costs of £4,495,292,000 for their national newspaper subsidiary.

Around £230 million-a-year in the later years.

What you might call big cheque book journalism…

Channel 4 News Economics Editor: Capitalism “Past Its Best”

Ah, Paul Mason. Channel 4’s resident communist hero-worshipper has taken some time out of spinning for Syriza to write this gem for the New Statesman‘s ironically titled “saying the unsayable” series:

“It’s becoming just about sayable, though to howls of pain, that neoliberal economics is nonsense. And that the neoliberal model is broken. What’s hard for the economics profession to accept is what this means: that capitalism itself could be past its best. The traditional escape mechanism – adaptation through high-value job creation and the creation of new technologies – becomes hard to maintain once information technology pervades everything, tanking production costs. So we are stuck: we fear automating en masse because we can’t imagine what jobs people will do who are displaced. This is the clearest sign that we might be living through a 500-year turning point, not just a 50-year one, with the exhaustion of a model and a financial crash.”

How exactly has the “neoliberal model” – or capitalism, as more rational people call it – fared in the last 40 years? Well it has delivered an 80% decline in world poverty for starters:

Does that really look like a “broken” model?

Treasury Seeks SpAd Gender Balance

George Osborne’s new Director of Communications James Chapman is seeking some gender balance in the Treasury media team, and is “asking every woman in the Lobby” if they want a job. Rumours swirl that the FT’s deputy pol ed Beth Rigby is among those who have been approached. She certainly has a strong grounding on the policy side of things but is she ‘on message’ enough for the role? So far the men who have put their names forward have been rebuffed…

Indy Pol Ed Runners and Riders

Andy Grice is stepping down after 17 years at the helm as Indy political editor. As ever, MediaGuido brings you your runners and riders to replace him:

Oliver Wright
Indy Whitehall Editor

Wright has been at the paper for seven years since coming over from the Times, first as news editor and then bringing in stories as Whitehall editor. The clear favourite for the job.

Nigel Morris
Indy Deputy Political Editor

Veteran correspondent Morris has been at the Indy even longer and is said to be keen. Would be a safe pair of hands, if a little unexciting.

Jane Merrick
Sindy Political Editor

Already writes a regular column for the daily so not impossible that she might jump over from the Sunday edition. Good for hard-hitting scoops about Michael Gove. Would be a crying shame if her widely-enjoyed allotment blog suffered.

Craig Woodhouse
Sun on Sunday Political Correspondent

Has spent three years as the number two on the Sun on Sunday and has previously worked at a Lebedev stable over at the Evening Standard. Experience in tabloid discipline would also be useful for the i sister paper, which has significantly higher circulation.

Matt Chorley
MailOnline Political Editor

A former Sindy man, bosses won’t have forgotten classic Chorley scoops during his stint at the paper such as Welcome to Britain’s sex toy capital. Could be a goer if he is overlooked for the Daily Mail pol ed job.

Joe Murphy
Evening Standard Political Editor

Already on a Lebedev paper, Murphy has one last big job in him and a move to the Indy would make sense. Known for such top scoops at the 2013 Budget.

Simon Carr
Guido Fawkes Sketchwriter

Sketch master Carr was at the Indy before moving to this parish. There would need to be a serious negotiation about allowing him to file from his Portugal holiday home. Would also mean writing for a smaller readership.

So, who will it be?

Janine Gibson Out: Rusbridger Email to Staff

MediaGuardian were scooped to the departure of their own paper’s deputy editor by Politico on Friday. Seen as the heir apparent to Alan Rusbridger for the editorship, Janine Gibson was overlooked and is now off. Rusbridger finally gets round to emailing staff:

Dear all,

Sorry that we got scooped on this, but no-one was really anticipating rival breaking news late on the Friday of a bank holiday.

Janine Gibson has, after much thought, decided to move on from the Guardian. 

As most of you know, Janine’s been with us for 17 years, after joining as a refugee from the Independent. As media editor she launched the MediaGuardian website and was then appointed G3 editor before becoming editor of the Guardian website in 2008 and then a deputy editor.

Janine launched Guardian US in 2011, at a time when we had not quite found our feet or purpose in the States. She had a clear sense of where the Guardian should be going and what it should be in America. Guardian US began with 6 employees and 7m users, and grew in 3 years to 50+ staff and tripled its audience. And, of course, she edited the Snowden story out of New York in a way that was assured, well-judged and brave. The Snowden story probably won more awards than any story since Watergate – and much of that was down to Janine’s sure touch. 

That record – plus her digital instincts – made Janine a high profile figure in US journalism, and it was no surprise when the NYT tried to poach her to be their deputy editor early last year. At that point we managed to keep her, with the (thankless!) task of returning to London to help reorganise desks and production as well as edit the digital site. 

She’s been a brilliantly talented and lovely colleague, and we wish her so well in whatever she does next.

Gibson’s leaving will once again fuel speculation that the New York Times’ board is considering setting up a London operation as revenge for the Guardian attempting to muscle in on their turf stateside. Janine ran Guardian US until last year and will have impressed editing the Snowden story. The news got a suspiciously kind write up in the NYT over the weekend…

Read Guido’s Sun on Sunday Column Online

Do you know Andy Burnham? Read the man who could be the next Labour leader in his own words in Guido’s Sun on Sunday column: a “socialist” who backs Russell Brand while wearing Paul Smith suits. Guido’s column is […]

+ READ MORE +

Indy Pol Ed Andy Grice Quits

Sean O’Grady, managing editor of the Independent, emails staff:

“After 17 glorious scoop-filled years, our friend and colleague Andy Grice is to step down as Political Editor of The Independent later in the summer. We all know what an amazing

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Guardian Sets Crude Example

rusbridger

Saudi Arabia have come out in support of the Guardian’s campaign to keep fossil fuels in the ground:

The hated, oppressive regime which opposes […]

+ READ MORE +

No. 10 Hire Camilla Cavendish as Policy Chief

David Cameron has hired another of his Oxford contemporaries, Sunday Times columnist Camilla Cavendish, to do policy:

[…]

+ 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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