More musical chairs at the Indie. Or Sindie. Now lawyers get to edit! [CORRECTED]

Update: corrected this due to info from our commenter, k. Who I think knows, despite logging in from the Telegraph…

(I really should try to break myself off the habit of blogging about stuff happening at the Indie, but I feel like House surrounded by Vicodin: it’s just irresistible. Maybe if they start blogging regularly, I’ll stop on them.)

Anyway. Seen at Fullrunner’s What The Trades Say:

*The Independent* has appointed Imogen Haddon as deputy editor, replacing Charlie Burgess. As the dust from the Indy’s redundancy program settles, Ruth Metzstein has replaced Kerry Smith as features editor. The Indy still appears to be looking for a City editor in the wake of Gary Parkinson’s departure.

[Update: wrong. Ms Haddon is still the *managing* editor (which despite the name doesn’t mean you do any editing; well, you might, perhaps, but usually it means you’re a manager of the editorial side, slashing budgets and writing redundo cheques and the like).]

I think that must be the Independent on Sunday – Ian Birrell is still, AFAIK, the deputy at the daily. (Michael Williams, previously executive editor on the daily, was for some time the deputy on the Sindie. Then he left rather abruptly, with what I’ve heard was a very comforting payoff; Mike knew where ever so many bodies from the Indies’ years were buried. Here’s the Guardian story on his going. Ooh, it says he’s the Indie *and* Sindie’s readers’ editor. Maybe I should email him about stories about Wi-Fi..)

Imogen Haddon, hmm. Previously the managing editor who oversaw all those redundancies. Who I have to say I don’t recall doing that much in the way of journalistic stuff; she started as the maternity leave cover for one of the lawyers. In fact, she is a lawyer. Lawyers editing papers? Well, can we at least hope that the Sindie will be philosophically and factually rigorous in future?

I know nothing about Gary Parkinson (who I don’t think I knew; he must have been the replacement for Jason Nisse, last seen heading to a bank saying he was going somewhere that actually made a profit). So he can’t have been there that long. And Ruth Metzstein was previously the features editor on the daily, surely. Why is it better for her to be on the Sunday?

Still, Imogen’s promotion (it is a promotion, right? Even if sideways) [No, it wasn’t; no change] must give hope to Louise Hayman, the longtime legal supremo on the Indie and now the legal supremo for the whole of the Independent Newspapers group. Stick at it, Louise, you could make editor someday.

Actually, they let Bono have a go – I think Louise would make a better fist of it. After all, she’s already a published writer – with “What’s so evil about a shortish skirt?” (Nothing at all in her case, I can assure you.) And let Simon Kelner do the legal flummery. Wow, the more I think about it, the more interesting it gets….

The person to watch in all this seems to me to be Ian Birrell. He hasn’t moved in any direction since arriving there in, what, 1999? He’s pretty much the only person (Kelner apart) for whom that’s true. I’m still surprised that no rival media group has recognised his ability and made him an unrefusable offer.


  1. What! Charlie Burgess was sacked?

  2. Also, it is completely inconceivable than any lawyer could have better legs than Louise.

  3. Charles

    Monday 4 June 2007 at 1:58 pm

    @1 – dunno, maybe he’s doing some firefighting elsewhere in the building. Could always try phoning them…
    @2 – yes, Liz Hunt’s comments and yours from Sodoff linger in the memory… (note to non-Indie readers: Sodoff was the ever-expanding file of daft comments and idiocies committed by the paper’s denizens. Alas, probably Diedoff now.)

  4. This is all way off the mark. Birrell’s still deputy. Imo’s still ME. John Mullin was promoted to Sindie deputy a couple of months back, when Mike Williams took the cash and ran. Gary Parkinson left in late 06/very early 07, and has been replaced internally (although I can’t remember by whom). Ruth was feats ed for a while, and is now managing editor (features) or somesuch (again, a few months back). Shoot whoever writes for Fullrunner, I say.