John Witherow appointed acting editor of The Times

John Witherow, the editor of the Sunday Times, has been appointed acting editor of The Times, in an interim move made after the independent directors of The Times refused to endorse his appointment.

John Witherow: acting editor of The Times
John Witherow: acting editor of The Times

News International announced late on Friday that Witherow had been put on leave from The Sunday Times, a newspaper he has edited for the past 18 years, and had been appointed acting editor of The Times.

Martin Ivens, Witherow’s long-standing deputy, has been appointed acting editor of the Sunday paper.

James Harding, the former editor of The Times, resigned in December after saying News International’s parent group News Corporation had "made clear" that he should resign.

Undertakings agreed by News Corporation chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch in 1981, the editorial teams of The Times and The Sunday Times can not be combined and editors’ appointments must be approved by a panel of independent directors.

Two weeks before Harding’s resignation Mike Darcey, the former chief operating officer of BSkyB, was appointed chief executive of News International, replacing former Sky Italia chief executive Tom Mockridge.

Darcey said the acting appointments would provide the newspapers and their journalist with "strong and stable leadership" while there is a "thorough assessment of the undertakings".

In a statement Darcey said he welcomed the independent directors' "clear understanding of the very difficult financial position of our newspapers and therefore the need to address the undertakings".

Darcey said the independent directors will make recommendations to us and to government as to "how the newspapers can be structured in order to reduce their costs and become economically viable".

Full statement from Mike Darcey:

Following a meeting of the Independent National Directors of The Times and The Sunday Times yesterday we welcome their clear understanding of the very difficult financial position of our newspapers and therefore the need to address the Undertakings given in 1981. A thorough assessment of the undertakings will enable them to make recommendations to us and to government as to how the newspapers can be structured in order to reduce their costs and become economically viable.

However, during this interim period of continued consultation over the Undertakings, we still have a responsibility to provide these two newspapers and their journalists with strong and stable leadership. Given John Witherow’s distinguished record serving as editor of The Sunday Times over the last 18 years, we are putting him on leave from The Sunday Times and appointing him acting editor of The Times, effective immediately, and subject to formal approval as editor by the independent directors.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

VivaWomen! puts on a show

VivaWomen! puts on a show

Something exciting happened at Saatchi & Saatchi last night that pushed beyond advertising, writes Jo Wallace, creative director, Saatchi & Saatchi.

Share
Sven-Göran Eriksson stars in BetVictor ad

Sven-Göran Eriksson stars in BetVictor ad

Sven-Göran Eriksson, the former England football team manager, features in BetVictor's newest TV ad.

Share
Vizeum wins £60m Burger King European media business

Vizeum wins £60m Burger King European media business

Burger King, the fast-food chain, has appointed Vizeum to handle its consolidated European media planning and buying account, estimated to be worth €74 million (£58.7 million).

Share

Get news by email