Alan Rusbridger’s announcement that he will stand down in summer 2015 as Guardian editor after 20 years has fired the starting gun on one very long succession battle. Current online boss Janine Gibson is a firm favourite with Kath Viner the struggling US editor not far behind.
Other wannabes include Jonathan Freedland – the newly anointed head of comment – Emily Wilson from Guardian Oz and Deputy Editor Paul Johnson, if he is interested. Mr S would tip Political Editor Patrick Wintour, a journalist with a solid pedigree, as the dark horse.
Former deputy editor Ian Katz would have once upon a time been top of this list, but his departure to Newsnight burnt bridges over at Kings Place and his handling of the show has left many people wondering if he has the faintest idea what he is doing.
Rusbridger’s departure leaves Daily Mail Editor Paul Dacre as the last man standing in the long battle to be the only paper boss in place in the post-Leveson Inquiry age. Which is sure to please the chattering classes…
P.S. Is it too much to hope that a state-educated candidate emerges? Stuart Millar, recently returned from running its American operation, is widely admired. Mr. Steerpike is reminded of something that Michael Gove once said:
‘I hope that thanks to the reforms we’ve introduced the next Guardian editor but three will be a comprehensive school boy or girl.’
P.P.S. Ladbrokes have released odds on who’ll be the next editor. Looks like Mr. S was bang on the money. Does anyone fancy placing a fiver on Andrew Neil?
100/1 Piers Morgan