Euston Partners dispute may have prompted Lewis exit

Press Gazette understands that the abrupt departure yesterday of editor-in-chief Will Lewis from Telegraph Media Group may have come about because of a dispute over the independence of his new Euston Partners digital development wing.

Lewis set up Euston Partners in January taking the title of managing director digital and group editor in chief.

While Lewis appears to have been keen that the new operation would be a separate business able to act entrepreneurially in the field of digital media development, Murdoch MacLennan appears to be of the opinion that it should be very much the digital research and development wing of Telegraph Media Group.

As far as Lewis is concerned, Press Gazette understands that his departure was a completely amicable one and down to basic strategic differences with management.

But reports today that Telegraph chief executive Murdoch MacLennan was unhappy with the business plan Lewis had put forward for Euston, or more precisely the alleged lack of one, suggests some friction.

One source closely involved with the Euston project insisted that Lewis did have a clear business plan and had been hard at work since the new office opened up in January.

Whatever the reasons for his departure, Lewis leaves the Telegraph on a high after picking up six prizes at the British Press Awards last month including newspaper of the year, journalist of the year for himself and scoop of the year for MPs’ expenses.

Rupert Murdoch is understood to be an admirer of Will Lewis. But Press Gazette understands that Lewis is not leaving as a result of a job offer from Murdoch’s News Corp.

1pm UPDATE:

Telegraph Media Group has now issued a statement from chief executive Murdoch Maclennan. He said: “Will has been a superb colleague, helping transform our operation into the UK’s leading multimedia quality publisher and establishing Euston Partners to take TMG forward into its next phase of development. Having achieved so much here, I understand his reasons for wanting to move on. We wish him every success.”

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