Times deputy editor Keith Blackmore exits after 26 years with the paper

Times deputy editor and former interim editor Keith Blackmore has left the paper after 26 years with the title.

Blackmore was promoted from executive editor to the number two role by former editor James Harding in January 2008, just a month after Harding took over.

His departure marks another break with the Harding era after the editor parted company with The Times last December. Blackmore briefly took over as interim editor before the appointment of acting editor John Witherow in January.

In his resignation statement, Harding singled out Blackmore for praise.

He wrote: "As I have said before, most of the good things that we have done as a paper in the past few years have been Keith’s idea. More than that, he is a man of decency, judgement, taste and an extraordinary appreciation for all types of talent, except his own."

When Harding stood down as editor he said it had "been made clear to me that News Corporation would like to appoint a new editor of The Times". He has since hinted that he was forced out by owner Rupert Murdoch, telling a chairty lunch in July that he "was resigned from" the paper.

Blackmore started in the sports department of The Times before becoming editorial director of Times Online and then being appointed executive editor by then editor Robert Thomson in 2004.

He was responsible for the picture-led cover wraps which featured in The Times during the 2012 London Olympics, an innovation that helped the paper win the newspaper of the year prize at this year’s London Press Awards and at the Press Awards for 2012.

A Times spokesperson said: "Keith’s long service with The Times was celebrated at a leaving party last week with a 10-minute video featuring contributions from the great and the good who paid tribute to his varied career with the paper. A successor is yet to be appointed.” 

Former Sunday Times editor Witherow remains 'acting' editor of The Times because of concerns about his appointment raised by the paper's independent directors.

 

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