The Evening Standard has axed a long-running weekly columnist as part of a belt-tightening exercise and bid to refresh its comment pages.
Sam Leith, also the Spectator’s literary editor, began his column at the paper in 2009, which grew into a full-page slot each Monday.
His column this week was his last, it has been confirmed.
Leith told Press Gazette: â€œI heard from the managing editor that they were going through a belt-tightening exercise so I was getting the chop.
“Though obviously I wasnâ€™t delighted, Iâ€™ve always taken the view that the flipside of the great privilege of a weekly column is that youâ€™ve no security of tenure – so you kind of take your lumps when theyâ€™re dished up to you.
â€œI did enjoy the weekly outlet greatly, and getting paid didnâ€™t hurt either â€” but I had a good run so theyâ€™re quite within their rights to bring it to an end.â€�
Leith’s column earned him nominations for Columnist of the Year at the Society of Editors Press Awards in 2015 and 2016.
Press Gazette understands the axing is part of a freshening up of the Standard’s columnists which will see regular contributors reshuffled across the week. Major changes to the comments page are not expected.
Picture: Sam Leith
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Source: Digital Journalism