The editor of The Economist, John Micklethwait, is leaving to become editor-in-chief of Bloomberg. He has been editor since April 2006. The board of The Economist Group is starting the process of choosing his successor; under the Articles of Association, their choice has to be supported by the newspaper's four independent trustees. A new editor is expected to be confirmed before the end of January, when John Micklethwait will stand down.
The Group's chairman, Rupert Pennant-Rea, said today: "I know everybody in the Group will be sorry to see John go. He has steered the newspaper through some extraordinarily difficult times, both in the media industry and in the wider world, and has done so with great energy and enthusiasm. His nine years as editor is close to the average tenure for the previous 15 editors, but none of them had to cope with the scale and pace of the changes he has handled. He leaves with the best wishes of the board and, I'm sure, all the staff."
John Micklethwait said: "It has been an enormous privilege both to have been the editor of The Economist since 2006 and to have been able to work for 27 years at such a consistently stimulating and collegial place. I am extremely confident that The Economist will continue to thrive as an independent liberal voice that echoes around the world."
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Notes to editors
The Economist was founded in 1843. Since Micklethwait became its sixteenth editor in 2006, the global circulation of the weekly newspaper has risen from 1.1 million to 1.6 million, including 164,000 paying digital subscribers who read it on their smartphones or tablets and 304,000 people who pay extra to receive it in both print and digital. Its weekly audience is around 6 million people. In November traffic to its website reached 40 million page views and it has 13 million unique users. It has 18.7 million followers on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, more than any other magazine. It has just launched The Economist Espresso, a daily app that has already been downloaded more than 330,000 times—and is also available in e-mail.
For more than 170 years, The Economist has had at its core five qualities that together give it a unique place in the media landscape: a smart guide to the forces that shape the future, through the analysis of the political, economic, social, cultural and technological forces that shape the world; a trusted filter on world affairs that is concise, informative and “finishable”—an antidote to information overload; an advocate for positive change, staying true to its founding principle: to take part in “a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress”; a global perspective since 1843. Globalisation has played a major part in The Economist’s growth and will continue as technology continues to make the world a smaller place; world-class journalism for which our readers are prepared to pay a premium price.
(December 9th 2014)