Lebedev deal on Independent nears

The Times today reports that Lebedev has bought The Independent titles, but Press Gazette understands a deal has yet to be done.

Sources say that “good progress” is being made on negotiations – but that, at time of writing, an announcement is not expected today.

According to The Times, Independent titles editor-in-chief and managing director Simon Kelner will stay on under the Lebedev regime – but will report in to Evening Standard editor Geordie Greig. Lebedev bought The Standard from Associated Newspapers for a token fee last January.

Lebedev’s side of the deal have apparently continued to fuel wild media speculation about his plans for the title – with reports that he would like former BBC director general Greg Dyke and the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman as editor of the Independent.

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