After a terrible run editing the Indy – where he tried to sign the paper up a government backed press regulator – and then sitting on his arse at the Standard for a year on huge money, Lebedev has finally booted Chris Blackhurst out. Sorry, he’s gone to extend his “range of interests”:
From: Doug Wills
Sent: 15 January 2015 16:00
To: ES ALL
Subject: Changes in the Business department
Chris Blackhurst has decided to step down as the multi-media head of business across the Evening Standard, Independent, Independent on Sunday and i titles.
Chris will continue to write regular columns and conduct weekly interviews for the newspapers and London Live TV.
Jim Armitage has been promoted from his current position as deputy city editor to City Editor for the titles.
It may be helpful to know that the following statement has been released by the company:
THE multi-media head of business at the Evening Standard and Independent, Chris Blackhurst, has decided to step down.
Blackhurst, who oversees the group’s business coverage, will continue to write regular columns and conduct weekly interviews for the newspapers and London Live TV. However, he will now also be free to pursue other ventures.
“I’ve been thinking about extending my range of interests for some time,” said Blackhurst. “I made up my mind over Christmas. I’d like to see what other journalistic opportunities in print, digital and broadcast, directorships, advisory and consultancy roles are out there. I’ve been with this organisation 14 years, longer if you include my first spell with the Independent which began in 1992 – it’s time to broaden my horizons.”
Blackhurst was City Editor of the Evening Standard for nine years, before becoming Editor of The Independent for two years. He was then promoted to Group Content Director, and in September last year, he took on the multi-media business role. He’s won numerous awards for his journalism.
ESI Media Chief Executive Steve Auckland said: “We are delighted that Chris will continue to be a high-profile writer with our titles as we know how highly regarded he is by our readers and throughout the business world.”
The spin has been met with newsroom incredulity.