The Evening Standard has begun the search for a replacement for caretaker managing director, Bert Hardy.
It is understood that The Guardian’s commercial director Stuart Taylor was offered the role but has turned it down. The paper is believed to have drawn up a shortlist of several others.
Newspaper veteran Hardy took over the daily running of the Associated Newspapers-owned title last September when his predecessor, Mike Anderson, was poached by News International.
Hardy – who is 78 years old – has revamped the newspaper and slowed its circulation decline. Last month’s ABC figure was 289,245, which was a 7.6% fall month-on-month, and an 11.7% dip year-on-year.
He has also raised the cover price by 10p to 50p to put clear distance between it and the two London freesheets that many think will damage the Standard.
An Associated Newspapers insider confirms that there is an ongoing search for a replacement for Hardy, on account of his age.
Industry insiders say that the job is a “poisoned chalice”. One press buyer says: “The newspaper needs a clear long-term plan before anybody takes that job.”