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Roger Alton to stand down as Editor of the Observer – John Mulholland appointed as successor

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Scott Trust today announced that Roger Alton is stepping down as Editor of The Observer at the end of the year. He will be succeeded by John Mulholland, currently a Deputy Editor of The Observer.

In nearly ten years as Editor, Roger has presided over a period of sustained circulation and innovation on The Observer, including the introduction of the award-winning monthly Sport, Food, Music, and Woman magazines, and the successful move to the Berliner format in 2006. In March 2007 The Observer won the Newspaper of the Year Award at the British Press Awards. Roger, twice named Editor of the Year, joined The Observer from the Guardian, where he spent more than 20 years in a number of roles including arts editor, features editor, editor of Weekend magazine, and assistant editor.

Liz Forgan, chair of The Scott Trust, owner of the Guardian and Observer, said: “We are very grateful to Roger for the passion and commitment he has brought to The Observer and the Guardian over the last 30 years. The award of Newspaper of the Year was a fitting tribute to an inspiring editorship.

“John Mulholland is an outstanding journalist and the Scott Trust is delighted he will become The Observer’s next Editor. He played a key role in The Observer’s successful move to the Berliner format, developed and launched the stable of award-winning monthly magazines, and is uniquely placed to lead the paper into an era of digital publishing.”

John Mulholland, 44, has been a Deputy Editor of The Observer since 1998, with responsibility for overseeing the features output including magazines and the sport, travel and culture sections. He is a former media editor of the Guardian and was educated at Dublin City University and California State University, Sacramento.

Roger Alton said: “It has been an immense privilege to edit The Observer and work with such a brilliant team. For the best part of ten years, this has been the time of my life. The Observer is in fantastic shape, editorially and commercially, and this is the right time for me now to be handing over to John. I am absolutely thrilled at his appointment – he’s a fabulous journalist and a dear friend I would trust with my life. John cares passionately about The Observer, and has a clear vision and ambition for its print and digital future. The paper is in very safe hands.”

John Mulholland said: “ I, along with the superb team at The Observer, will be doing my utmost to carry on the wonderful work that Roger has done and to ensure that a paper with such a unique and cherished history continues to produce journalism that we can all be proud of in the future.”