Trust backs deputy for top role
Viner becomes first woman to edit The Guardian
Katharine Viner has been named the first woman to become editor of The Guardian newspaper in its 194 year history. She will succeed Alan Rusbridger when he steps down in the summer after 20 years in the post.
Ms Viner, who is deputy editor an editor-in-chief of the Guardian US, beat 25 other applicants for the job and said her appointment was an “enormous privilege”.
She joined the newspaper as a writer in 1997 and has held a number of senior posts which include editor of the Weekend magazine, features editor, and Saturday editor. Two years ago she launched the Guardian Australia.
Before joining the Guardian, she worked at The Sunday Times.
The Scott Trust, which owns the left wing leaning Guardian, said she fully embraced the changes taking place in the industry.
Ms Viner will become only the 12th editor since the paper was founded in May 1821.
She won the overwhelming support of Guardian and Observer staff in a ballot this month. Fifty-three per cent of those who voted backed her with a first-choice vote of 438 in the single transferable vote system used for the ballot.
Commenting on her appointment, she said: “Being editor-in-chief of the Guardian and Observer is an enormous privilege and responsibility, leading a first class team of journalists revered around the world for outstanding reporting, independent thinking, incisive analysis and digital innovation.”
The NUJ chapel at the titles welcomed Ms Viner’s appointment. Brian Williams, FoC, said: “We have a unique process for the appointment of our editor-in-chief. The indicative ballot of editorial staff, in which 839 Guardian and Observer journalists voted, and the hustings which preceded it, is now firmly cemented at the heart of that process. The open and transparent system … gives our incoming editor an unparalleled position in the media and we look forward to working with her.”
Educated at Ripon Grammar School in Yorkshire and the University of Oxford her first job was with Cosmopolitan magazine. The last Guardian editor who attended a state school is understood to be Alfred Wadsworth, editor between 1944 to 1956.
Mr Rusbridger is to take up the role of chairman of the Scott Trust, the ultimate parent of the Guardian and Observer newspapers, at the start of 2016, replacing Liz Forgan when she ends her term as chair.