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.