Kelner named as Independent editor but Geordie Greig’s in charge

Simon Kelner has been named as the new editor of the Independent, taking over from Roger Alton who’s been on death row almost since taking over the job.

Kelner was editor for a decade until 2008 when he was promoted to managing director. He now joins the board of Russian Alexander Lebedev’s paper where he’ll come across one Geordie Greig, former editor of the Tatler, now the editor of the London Evening Standard and newly-appointed editorial director of the Indy and Standard stable.

Actually Greig has done better than many old Fleet Street hands thought he would at the Standard but, if you think about it, the Standard (apart from the City section and some of the political commentators) has been the house newspaper for posh people in West London for decades now.

As for the hapless Alton, let’s hope he got a decent pay-off.

Prior to the Indy he was the respected editor of the Observer but the sands began to shift irrevocably when he backed the Iraq War, a dangerous position to take in the Guardian Media Group.

So much then for the chances of first Rod Liddle and then Greg Dyke, both of whom were linked with the Indy job.

Will Kelner be any good? Well he wasn’t bad first time round even though the Indy still faded away. But it seems a ‘safe pair of hands’ appointment.

And one suspects that the Indy needs a bit more than that.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.