Illness sees Stothard take sabbatical from The Times

The editor of The Times, Peter Stothard, has been forced to reveal the real reason behind his decision to take a sabbatical for an ’indefinite period’ after press speculation about his future.

The editor of The Times, Peter Stothard, has been forced to reveal

the real reason behind his decision to take a sabbatical for an

’indefinite period’ after press speculation about his future.



Stothard has announced to staff that he is suffering from a treatable

form of cancer and that he is taking time off to undergo treatment. He

says that he intends to return to work as soon as he is able.



It was widely reported on Wednesday that Stothard’s eight-year

editorship of The Times was drawing to a close.



The reports prompted The Times to issue a statement on the reason for

his departure.



Stothard said: ’I felt this was a private matter between Sally, me and

our children. But as a journalist I should have known better. I’ll be

back in robust health very shortly and I am looking forward to using the

time to consider many projects relating to the future of the paper.’



The news accounts for Stothard’s absence during the run-up to the recent

relaunch of The Times.



Ben Preston, the deputy editor, will oversee Stothard’s duties for the

time being.



A spokeswoman added that Preston would not take on the title of acting

editor. ’Peter will be back,’ she said.



Stothard won Editor of the Year and The Times scooped Newspaper of the

Year at the recent What the Papers Say awards. Stothard has also

increased sales from 390,000 when he joined in 1992 to more than

700,000.



Meanwhile, it is understood that the Saturday paper will also be

redesigned and relaunched in the near future.



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