By Jean Morgan
The Evening Standard has a new look, achieved after three years of
pressure by editor Veronica Wadley to persuade Associated Newspapers to
release the paper from its design straitjacket and give her more space.
This week, with business news returned to the run of the paper after
its sojourn as a pink paper section, she has been given more resources
and infinitely more space to allow her to employ 20 big-name new
columnists, all with tried and tested reader appeal.
new columnists are Neil Collins and Christopher Fildes, former Daily
Telegraph City heavyweights, who will write for the business section,
Jonathan Freedland, Johann Hari, Joanna Coles and Hannah Pool.
Liz Jones gets a new role as star interviewer, as well as writing a
column, while former premier interviewer Lucy Cavendish, now spending
less time in this country, will also write a column.
return of Bert Hardy to the Standard as managing director, Wadley has
apparently found an ally. Hardy is said to be giving her tremendous
support. Chairman Lord Rothermere and editor-in-chief Paul Dacre have
maintained their commitment to investing in editorial.
“We wanted a greater variety of voices and views for London’s paper,” Wadley
told Press Gazette, “much more to read, better value, more features,
more columnists, and, as always, investment in journalism.”
Wadley made most of her new signings in July before her summer holiday.
Evening Standard originally won a legal victory against the Financial
Times 15 years ago to be able to print its business news on pink paper.
But Wadley, say insiders, felt that pink no longer had the same cachet,
while business had become much more central to main news.
sections within sections have gone, liberalising the paper. Feedback
from journalists – inside and outside the paper – is that it is looking
much more lively and substantial.