OLD Media Moves

Betting on the next editor of The Economist

March 20, 2006

Apparently a booking agent in London had been taking bets on who would be the next editor of The Economist magazine, but the bookie shut down the business after receiving a large number of bets on a certain internal candidate.

The London Times reports, “SOMEONE at The Economist knows something we don’t. Paddy Power, the bookmaker, has been offering odds on the new editor, to replace the departing Bill Emmott. Several punters this week started to put large sums ranging up to £500 on Ed Carr, the business and financial editor, at 6-1.

“The bookie yesterday suspended all bets, after even more tried to open accounts. Any of them e-mails with “theeconomist” somewhere in the address? ‘We haven’t seen anything quite that unsubtle. They’re more intelligent at The Economist. Mind you, when we ran a book on the editor of The [Daily] Mirror . . .'”

Earlier, the Press-Gazette in London had reported, “Journalists with the inside track on who is to succeed Bill Emmott as editor of The Economist could cash-in at the bookies.

John Mickelthwait“Paddy Power has offered odds on what it sees as the ten front-runners. It has Economist US editor John Micklethwait as even-money favourite followed by the million-selling mag’s UK editor Emma Duncan.

Emma Duncan“The runners are: even-money Micklethwait, 6/4 Emma Duncan, 6/1 Matthew Bishop, 7/1 Ed Carr, 8/1 Gideon Rachman, 10/1 Christopher Lockwood, 16/1 Clive Crook, 100/1 Boris Johnson.”

Betting on whether a business journalist will get a job. Now, that’s a new concept. I wonder if we can convince a Vegas casino to start accepting bets on who will replace Wall Street Journal managing editor Paul Steiger?

I also think it’s be very cool if the general public could place bets on other business journalism concepts, like how soon will it be before new Fed chief Ben Bernanke appears on the cover of BusinessWeek, Fortune or Forbes? I am setting the over/under on that one at four months.

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