Will Lewis 'in talks' over News Corp role

Former Daily Telegraph editor Will Lewis is in talks with News Corporation over numerous possible roles, the FT reports today.

According to the FT, this could include a job at UK national newspapers division News Corp. Some sort of digital supremo role would seem a likely option for the editor who led Telegraph Group’s online transformation.

Lewis departed Telegraph Group abruptly in May after a difference of opinion with the owners over the nature of the Euston Partners digital development wing he was heading.

Lewis is a former Sunday Times business editor who News Corp proprietor Rupert Murdoch is known to rate highly.

When I interviewed Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff back in December 2008, I asked him about journalists in the UK that Murdoch likes.

He told me: “Murdoch has only said incredibly laudatory things about Will Lewis. From listening to the way that he spoke about a lot of peoplee, Murdoch was to say the least unedited when he spoke about other people, I thought that he really liked Lewis, that there’s something really there. If I had to single one person out, or one among a handful of people who Murdoch would really like as part of News Corp, I think Lewis is one.”

My understanding is that Lewis is on gardening leave until September, and given the rather acrimonious nature of his departure from Telegraph Media Group – former boss Murdoch MacLennan is likely to hold him to it.

Meanwhile, the Axegrinder column in this month’s Press Gazette magazine speculates that Lewis’ success as a “journalist businessman hybrid” has excited Lord Rothermere’s interest in him as a possible succesor to 61-year-old Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre.

It is the most lucrative editorship in British journalism and might be a natural culmination of all the poaching of editorial staff that has gone on between the Telegraph and Mail titles in recent years.

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