Former British Vogue deputy editor Emily Sheffield has been appointed the new editor of the Evening Standard.
George Osborne, who has edited the free London title since May 2017, will move to the role of editor-in-chief when Sheffield takes over on 1 July.
A spokesperson said Sheffield will be “amplifying” the Standard’s move to a “digital first news organisation” alongside its ongoing daily print edition.
Sheffield, sister of ex-prime minister David Cameron’s wife Samantha, spent five years at the Standard while in her 20s under editor Max Hastings. She returned to the paper as a columnist in 2018.
She said the title had been a “core part of my daily life ever since I moved to London aged 18”.
The Standard’s ad-reliant free distribution business model has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus crisis as transport hubs have stood empty while people stayed at home and events were cancelled.
In a first for the paper it moved to home delivery during lockdown, delivering fewer than 500,000 copies to homes.
Said Sheffield: “The newspaper was delivered every day during this pandemic, because of the determined efforts of George, his deputy Charlotte Ross and the team, ensuring continuity for Londoners at a time of unparalleled uncertainty. And demonstrating the commitment at the heart of The Standard in delivering for its community…
“A world-famous legacy news brand with both local and global impact, it is a huge honour for me to take on the editorship at such a key point in the Standard’s evolution.
“The opportunities are immense in the digital news sphere and I have spent the last two years focusing on how we are able to innovate and drive engagement around the news, while also remaining firmly attached to the value of printed media – the highly influential Standard newsprint edition will be continuing as a key part of the London landscape.”
Osborne, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer, quit the House of Commons shortly after being named editor of the Standard.
He said: “I’ve had a wonderful time editing the Evening Standard over these last three incredible news-packed years. My goal was to make us a ‘must read’ paper – provoking, campaigning, entertaining and informing in equal measure.
“Then came the pandemic, the biggest news story of my lifetime – and the greatest crisis in the Evening Standard’s two-hundred year history. Could the paper that survived the Blitz keep going when our streets were locked down? The answer was yes.
“Not a single edition was missed – thanks to the heroic efforts of our brilliant team. Together we’ve kept the Evening Standard alive in its own darkest hour and produced some of our finest journalism. That’s a legacy I’m very proud to be part of.
“Now I look forward in my new role to helping Emily as she takes the Standard to the next stage of its journey. She’s one of the most creative, hard-working people I know with a clear vision of the future. It’s going to be very exciting.”
Standard owner Evgeny Lebedev added: “The last few months have been a very tough time for this city and for this paper. But we look forward to a bright future with a brilliant new editor who has read, written and breathed the Evening Standard for 20 years.”
Sheffield started her career as a graduate news trainee at the Guardian. She will remain as founder and director of female-led digital news brand This Much I Know.
Picture: Evening Standard