The Guardian names Katharine Viner as editor-in-chief

The Guardian has named editor of its US edition Katharine Viner as the first woman to run the newspaper in its 194-year history.

She will take the reins of the newspaper this summer from Rusbridger who is to stand down after 20 years.

Viner is a deputy editor of the newspaper and is currently the editor-in-chief of the Guardian US. In 2013, she launched Guardian Australia as its editor in chief.

Her appointment was both foreshadowed and given the backing of staff earlier this month. More than half (53 per cent) of Guardian and Observer staff voted in a ballot to back Viner, a move that guaranteed her name on a shortlist of candidates to succeed Rusbridger.

Viner’s ascension to the summit of the newspaper caps off an 18 year career that has also seen her edit the Saturday edition of the newspaper from 2008 until 2012. She moved out to New York last summer to become the editor-in-chief of the Guardian’s US business.

Prior to joining the Guardian, she spent three years at the Sunday Times and her first job was with Cosmopolitan magazine.

Viner joins a small pool of female editors in the UK that includes Lisa Markwell, editor of the Independent on Sunday, Victoria Newton, the editor of the Sun on Sunday, Sarah Sands at the Evening Standard and Dawn Neesom at the Star.

Rusbridger said: “Kath rose up through the Guardian as an inspired magazine and features editor. She took Australia by storm before heading up the Guardian’s American operation. She will bring immense experience, flair, warmth, imagination and formidable energy to her new role as editor of the Guardian.”

Rusbridger is to become chairman of the Scott Trust, the organisation that funds the Guardian and Observer newspapers, from 2016 when he replaces Liz Forgan.

His tenure at the helm of the title has seen it pivot towards digital in search of new revenue and content channels, although the move is yet to prove profitable. Rusbridger has also steered the newspaper to achieve Pulitzer prize for public service, for its exposure of the surveillance activities of the US National Security Agency following leaks by Edward Snowden.

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