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Katharine Viner to replace Janine Gibson as Guardian US editor-in-chief

By Paul McNally

The Guardian's US editor-in-chief Janine Gibson is to return to London this summer as a deputy editor and editor-in-chief of theguardian.com – and will be replaced in New York by current Guardian Australia editor Katharine Viner.

The move is one of a number of changes announced last night which Guardian News and Media editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger said "will help steer the Guardian’s digital future and cement our position as a world-leading media organisation".

In an email to staff, Rusbridger said: "Janine Gibson has done an extraordinary job opening and editing Guardian US. She has assembled a first-rate team, pioneered award-winning digital journalism, and helped build a hugely significant audience in the US.

"The [Edward] Snowden scoops dominated the news agenda in the US (not to mention the rest of the world) for months, and their impact continues to reverberate."

Also returning to London is the Guardian America deputy editor Stuart Millar, who will become the Guardian's overall head of news.

Viner will move to the US from Australia, where she has overseen the launch of Guardian Australia. She will be replaced in Australia by network editor Emily Wilson, who moves from London.

Guardian America first launched in 2007 and made a renewed effort to grow its US audience from 2011. An Australian edition followed in May last year.

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Rusbridger said Viner had "done a terrific job in Australia, opening an operation there, hiring a fantastic team of interesting and talented journalists, increasing traffic dramatically, setting the agenda and quickly establishing the Guardian as a force to be reckoned with in Australian journalism".

Among the other job moves announced last night:

  • Paul Johnson will be responsible for the day-to-day editing and publishing of the paper Monday to Saturday and "the strategic position of the paper in a changing media environment".
  • Jonathan Freedland will become executive editor, Opinion – with overall responsibility for leaders, the Comment pages, Comment is Free and a new review space.
  • Clare Margetson becomes an assistant editor, working on review pages and longer-firm pieces.

Rusbridger said the changes "will not only build on [our] achievements but will also radically develop our video journalism and multimedia offering, bolster the Guardian’s intellectual heart, and further unlock the talents of some of our most talented journalists and editors".

He also said that further discussions would be held with the Observer editor John Mulholland about "news resource" and "how we we can organise our newsgathering as effectively as possible".

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