After eight years as editor, Moore, left, makes way for Newland
Charles Moore has stepped down after eight years as editor of The Daily Telegraph to complete his biography of ailing former prime minister Margaret Thatcher.
His successor, Martin Newland, is a relatively low-profile figure in the UK press after spending the past five years working on Canada’s National Post.
A former home editor of the Telegraph, he told Press Gazette he wanted the paper to stick to its “core values”.
He said: “We are not going to have a massive revolution with cutting and burning here – it’s a very successful product. It’s always a question of stewardship and nurturing what’s already there.
“If I’m honest with myself, I’ve got to learn to get back into the place and find out who’s who, what’s what and how it works, what the figures are and what the strategies are and those sorts of things. That’s going to take some time.
He added: “What five years in Canada have done is made me realise just what an amazing product the thing is. The last thing a fish notices is the water swimming around him. You have to be yanked out looking at it to see how great it is.
“I’m not saying I’m Charles – obviously I’m not. We have different styles and different interests and that will be reflected in the running of the paper.”
Newland said he planned to keep the current senior editorial team in place. Sarah Sands continues as deputy editor and has been made editor of the Saturday edition.
Moore, 46, joined the Telegraph in 1979, leaving in 1983 to join The Spectator, where he later became editor. He rejoined the Telegraph as deputy editor in 1990, before becoming editor in 1995.
When asked what he saw as his crowning achievement, he said: “Ronald Reagan said, ‘I guess I won the Cold War’. I think I would say, ‘I think I won the price war’. “The whole of my editorship until last month took place in the price war with The Times and we’ve won it. It’s certainly cost us, but it’s cost them more and they’ve really had to stop. “From an editor’s point of view, you take great pride in that because the way we’ve won is not by endless discounting, but by producing the best quality broadsheet.”
Moore is taking a six-month sabbatical from the Telegraph, but plans to return as group consultant editor and write a regular column.
He said: “I’ve absolutely loved being the editor, so obviously I shall miss it, but I’ve done eight years and I want to get on with writing. It’s just been a great privilege and a great pleasure. “I’m particularly pleased that I’m coming back to the paper, because I’ve worked for one of the three titles in the group for my entire career.”
By Dominic Ponsford