William Lewis (journalist)

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William Lewis
Born1969 (age 49–50)
EducationWhitefield School
Alma materUniversity of Bristol
Department of Journalism, City University
EmployerMail on Sunday
Financial Times
The Sunday Times
Telegraph Media Group
News International
RelativesSimon Lewis (brother)

William Lewis (born 1969)[1] is a British newspaper publishing executive. Earlier in his career he was known as a journalist and then editor.

Early career he worked for the Mail on Sunday and the Financial Times, before joining the Telegraph group in which he quickly gained promotion. Lewis was the editor of The Daily Telegraph from 2006 (until 2009) and from 2007 editor-in-chief of the Telegraph Media Group. He left the Telegraph group in May 2010 over a disagreement with senior colleagues. Taking up a post as general manager of News International in September 2010, he joined the Management and Standards Commission (MSC) in February 2011, and became the Chief Creative Officer of the 'new' News Corporation in February 2013. In 2014, Lewis was named the CEO of Dow Jones.

Early life and career[edit]

He attended a comprehensive school in north London, Whitefield School, before studying Politics and Economics at Bristol University, where he wrote for the student newspaper, Epigram.[1] He completed a postgraduate diploma in Periodical Journalism at City University.

After graduation, he joined the Mail on Sunday as a business reporter[1] in 1991.[2] He later moved to the Financial Times, working there for eight years. His last job at the FT was news editor, having been the Mergers and Acquisitions Editor based in New York. In 1999 he broke the story that Exxon was merging with Mobil, then the biggest industrial merger. Lewis was business editor of The Sunday Times from 2002 to 2005.[2]

Telegraph Media Group[edit]

Lewis joined The Daily Telegraph in 2005, as City editor and joint deputy editor.[1] Lewis was appointed editor of The Telegraph on 9 October 2006, becoming the youngest ever editor of the newspaper.[3] Within a year of his appointment he was made editor-in-chief of the combined titles after working to integrate the publishing process across the group.[2]

As editor and editor-in-chief, also ultimately responsible for The Sunday Telegraph and the telegraph.co.uk website. he oversaw the Telegraph's investigation into the parliamentary expenses scandal in May 2009. The expenses investigations scoops, all closely associated with the journalist Heather Brooke, saw The Daily Telegraph honoured at the British Press Awards as "Newspaper of the Year", with Lewis being named "Journalist of the Year".[4]

During his time as editor, he also attempted a broader debate at The Telegraph about the environment. While the newspapers and website continued to house global warming sceptics such as Christopher Booker and James Delingpole,[5] he also recruited Geoffrey Lean, the environmental commentator to write a weekly column and lead the Telegraph's global warming coverage.[6]

He was succeeded in the editor's chair by Tony Gallagher in late 2009, but remained editor-in-chief and was promoted to manage the Telegraph Media Group's digital businesses, heading up the short-lived[7] Euston Partners, a new entrepreneurial digital division.[8] He left the Telegraph Media Group in May 2010, after a "disagreement" with the chief executive, Murdoch MacLennan, about the strategic direction of Euston Partners.[9]

At the 2010 British Press Awards, The Telegraph was named the "National Newspaper of the Year" for its coverage of the MPs expenses scandal (named "Scoop of the Year"), with Lewis winning "Journalist of the Year" for his role.[10]

Vince Cable leak[edit]

In December 2010, Daily Telegraph reporters secretly recorded the UK Business Secretary Vince Cable making a number of unguarded remarks about the UK government and also his view that "we have declared war on Murdoch". The Telegraph reported the remarks about government, but did not publish his views on Murdoch. These views were controversial, because Cable was overseeing in a sub-judicial role the bid by Murdoch's News Corporation for all of BSkyB. The remarks about Murdoch were leaked to the BBC's Business Editor, Robert Peston.[11][12] He broadcast them, to the consternation of the Telegraph and of Cable who was forced to step aside from his oversight of the BSkyB bid.

In July 2011, Reuters reported that the corporate investigations firm Kroll had "strong reasons" to suspect that Lewis had been involved in the leak to Peston. The leaks took place three months after Lewis left the Telegraph. They were seen to be of commercial benefit to News Corporation, the parent company of News International, in relation to the News Corporation takeover bid for BSkyB. Kroll interviewed several Telegraph journalists, and examined their email and phone records, but was unable to determine which disgruntled journalists decided to blow the whistle on the Telegraph's decision not to publish the Cable comments on Murdoch.

News International[edit]

In July 2010, he was appointed general manager for News International's stable of UK newspapers – The Sun, The Times, News of the World (which has since ceased publication) and The Sunday Times.[13] He joined in September 2010, reporting to Joel Klein, a member of the News Corp board. and became an Executive Member of the Management and Standards Committee (MSC) in July 2011.

The MSC is responsible for helping the police and other bodies find out the facts about the News of the World phone hacking scandal. The MSC is chaired by Lord Grabiner and reports to Gerson Zweifach, General Counsel of the News Corp. Lewis was group general manager at News International in the UK, a post he held from September 2010. In September 2010 he joined News International, part of News Corporation and owner of The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times and the News of the World.

He was appointed to the role of Chief Creative Officer in February 2013. News Corporation is planning to split into two separate companies – Fox and News Corporation. Lewis will be CCO of News Corporation, reporting to Robert Thomson, the chief executive officer.

Personal life[edit]

Lewis is married with four children; he met his wife as an undergraduate at the University of Bristol.[1] His brother Simon Lewis was the Director of Communication for Gordon Brown, while he was Prime Minister, and is now chief executive of the Association of Financial Markets Europe.

In July 2010 he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from his alma mater Bristol University.[14] and in September 2010 he was made Doctor of Letters by the University of Lincoln.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e The Observer, 24 May 2009, Will Lewis: the man with an expense account
  2. ^ a b c guardian.co.uk, 14 July 2008, 37. Will Lewis
  3. ^ Matthew Beard 'Telegraph' appoints 37-year-old as editor, The Independent, 10 October 2006
  4. ^ Stephen Brook "Daily Telegraph dominates British Press Awards with expenses exposé" The Guardian, 24 March 2010
  5. ^ James Randerson "Christopher Booker's wilful climate change ignorance gathers pace", The Guardian, 25 February 2009
  6. ^ Mark Sweney "Environment editor Geoffrey Lean to leave Independent on Sunday", The Guardian, 9 June 2009
  7. ^ Telegraph to fold Euston Project into Victoria HQ Mark Sweney, The Guardian, Friday 11 June 2010
  8. ^ Telegraph Media Group promotes Will Lewis and Tony Gallagher, Stephen Brook, The Guardian, 26 November 2009
  9. ^ Will Lewis out at Telegraph Media Group, Jane Martinson and Jason Deans, The Guardian, 5 May 2010
  10. ^ "British Press Awards 2010: Full list of winners", Press Gazette, 24 March 2010
  11. ^ "Exclusive – News Corp exec suspected of "orchestrating" leak". Reuters. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  12. ^ Halliday, Josh (22 July 2011). "News Corp boss 'linked' to leak of Vince Cable's Rupert Murdoch comments". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  13. ^ Dominic Ponsford "Will Lewis is named as News Int general manager", pressgazette.co.uk, 8 July 2010
  14. ^ http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2010/7127.html
  15. ^ http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/2010/09/269.asp
Media offices
Preceded by
Sarah Sands
Deputy Editor of the Daily Telegraph
with Neil Darbyshire

Succeeded by
Ian MacGregor
Preceded by
John Bryant
Editor of The Daily Telegraph
Succeeded by
Tony Gallagher