Ex-Guardian Australia editor promoted to editor-in-chief, replacing Alan Rusbridger

Katharine VinerKatharine Viner, who headed up the Guardian’s recent foray into the Australian market, has been promoted to the role of editor-in-chief of the Guardian global editorial operations, replacing Alan Rusbridger who is to step down later this year.

Viner will be the first female editor of the newspaper in its 194-year history.

The announcement of Viner’s promotion came overnight and follows her winning majority support of Guardian staff in an indicative internal ballot held earlier this month.

Commenting on her promotion, Viner 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.”

Viner noted that she was “honoured” to succeed Alan Rusbridger, who has led a global expansion that has seen the Guardian move into both the US and Australian saying: “Building on his track record, I intend to lead a media organisation that is bold, challenging, open and engaging. It will be a home for the most ambitious journalism, ideas and events, setting the agenda and reaching out to readers all around the world.”

Among Viner’s challenges in taking the new role will be continuing to oversee improve the audience and financial performance for publisher’s US operation, which has struggled since launch. Viner was promoted from the Australian to the US operation in March of 2014.

Alan Rusbridger, who has been in the role of editor-in-chief for 20 years, cited Viner’s success in building up the Australia operation as a factor in her appointment.

“Kath rose up through the Guardian as an inspired magazine and features editor,” he said. “She took Australia by storm before heading up the Guardian’s American operation. She will bring immense experience, flair, warmth, imagination and formidable energy to her new role as editor of the Guardian.”

Viner will become only the 12th editor of the Guardian since the paper was founded in May 1821.

Nic Christensen

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