‘I couldn’t help thinking of the warring sisters when I read the competing tweets from two of the most hotly tipped successors to Mr Rusbridger. First to declare her love for her departing editor was Janine Gibson. “Alan Rusbridger: Once in a generation editor; best boss ever; good at surprises,” she tweeted.
Her rival for the top job, Katherine Viner, followed suit with her paean in 140 characters or fewer: “Alan Rusbridger — for 17 years my inspiring editor: never afraid, always pushing us to be bigger, bolder, braver.”’
However, could the horses in the race have misplaced their efforts? Mr S only asks because Rusbridger tells him he has no say in choosing his successor. Speculation had been rife that the departing editor-in-chief would be very involved in the decision; after all, in 2016 he is becoming chair of The Scott Trust, which owns the Guardian.
‘The decision will be made by April I think,’ he tells Mr S at a bash in Pimlico. ‘I can’t really say much more though because I’m not playing any part in it.’
If this is the case, things may be looking up for Ian Katz should he be keen to return to the Guardian where he was previously deputy editor. His chances had looked unlikely as a result of his acrimonious split with Rusbridger when he quit the paper to join the BBC as editor of Newsnight.
Rusbridger does at least concede that the Economist made a wise decision appointing their first female editor Zanny Minton Beddoes. ‘She is supposed to be very good,’ he says.