Katharine Viner is the new Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian — the publication that helped break the story of the NSA’s citizen surveillance program by publishing leaked documents procured from Edward Snowden. She is the first woman to hold the position since the paper was founded in 1821.
Viner first began working at the publication in 1997. After serving as Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian US, the newspaper group’s Deputy Editor, and launching its Australia edition, Viner was the frontrunner for the top post in a ballot Scott Trust, which owns The Guardian, invited full-time and freelance employees to vote in. Fellow staffer Janine Gibson who was formerly Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian US, and now runs Guardian.com, was also on the ballot, but votes put her at third place. Last year, it was revealed former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson had wanted to hire Gibson as Managing Editor of the Times, which would have put her on the same level as now-Executive Editor Dean Baquet and might have led to Abramson’s dismissal. Gibson offered Viner her sincere congratulations.
“Viner inherits the Guardian at a time when it is well-funded with a cash cushion, but still pushing to become profitable. Like many newspapers, it has faced challenges in drawing revenues from its online growth. The CEO of its US office said this week that the American outfit is on track to be profitable in three years. The company has a large cash reserve, kept by the Scott Trust, after the sale of its interest in car website AutoTrader in January for about $985 million. The paper also signed a “seven-figure” editorial partnership with Unilever.”
Viner promised that under her leadership, The Guardian “will be a home for the most ambitious journalism, ideas and events, setting the agenda and reaching out to readers all around the world.”