Chris Blackhurst steps down as head of business for the Lebedev titles

Former Independent editor and long-serving Evening Standard business writer Chris Blackhurst is stepping down.

His exit comes amid a round of cost-cutting at the Standard with at least 15 journalists understood to be going.

Blackhurst has been multimedia head of business for the Standard and Independent titles since August 2014. 

Blackhurst replaced Simon Kelner as editor of The Independent in July 2011. In April 2012 he was promoted to group editorial director of the Evening Standard and Independent titles. He was replaced as editor of The Independent by Amol Rajan in July last year, moving to become group content director.

Blackhurst will continue to write regular columns and conduct weekly interviews for the newspapers and London Live TV on a freelance basis.

He said: “I’ve been thinking about extending my range of interests for some time. I made up my mind over Christmas. I’d like to see what other journalistic opportunities in print, digital and broadcast, directorships, advisory and consultancy roles are out there. I’ve been with this organisation 14 years, longer if you include my first spell with The Independent which began in 1992 – it’s time to broaden my horizons.”

Blackhurst was City editor of the Evening Standard for nine years, before becoming editor of The Independent.

ESI Media chief executive Steve Auckland said: “We are delighted that Chris will continue to be a high-profile writer with our titles as we know how highly regarded he is by our readers and throughout the business world.”

Jim Armitage has been promoted from deputy City editor to City editor for the Evening Standard, the Independent, Independent on Sunday and i.

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