The Independent has made a string of senior appointments including the return of Simon Kelner to the newspaper’s editorship.
The announcement came following completion of the purchase of the daily and its sister paper, the Independent on Sunday, by Independent Print Limited, a company set up by London Evening Standard owner Alexander Lebedev.
INM announced on Friday that it had completed the sale of its London titles following Irish competition approval heralding Kelner becoming editor for the second time after a two-year absence.
Kelner replaces former Observer editor, Roger Alton, who resigned from the post last month following weeks of speculation about his likely successor. Sunday Times columnist, Rod Liddle, and former BBC director general, Greg Dyke, were reportedly considered as possible successors to Alton.
Formerly managing director and editor-in-chief of both Independent titles, Kelner had overseen day to day editorial matters since Alton’s departure.
Andreas Whittam Smith, founder of The Independent, has also joined the board of Independent Print Ltd.
An additional appointment saw Andrew Mullins, managing director of the Standard, appointed managing director of the two papers and also appointed to the board of Independent Print Limited.
Evgeny Lebedev, son of Alexander and chairman of Independent Print Ltd, told The Independent today: “I hope that this will mark a great new era for these remarkable newspapers, which have such a distinguished record of great journalism.
“It is my intention to help The Independent to prosper under new management and most importantly for it to continue to pursue journalism of distinction and impartiality.
“Simon Kelner is appointed editor of The Independent, and has also been appointed a director of Independent Print Limited. He remains editor-in-chief of the Independent titles.”
The Lebedevs bought the two newspapers for a nominal £1 sum in March with INM agreeing to pay them £9.25m to take on future liabilities.