Published September 24, 2009
Just a few minutes ago, Morgunblaðið announced that former Central Bank
chairman and carreer politician Davíð Oddsson will be editor of the
newspaper, along with Haraldur Johannessen.
In addition, publisher Óskar Magnússon announced that 30 full time employees will be laid off, and about ten contract employees will not have their contracts renewed.
Davíð Oddsson has spent a lifetime in the conservative Independence Party in Iceland, in every capacity, from Reykjavík mayor to party chairman to Prime Minister. He then went on to become chairman of the Central Bank, but was eventually fired from the position after the economic collapse.
During much of this time, Morgunblaðið – one of only two of Iceland’s daily newspapers – was very closely tied with the Independence Party, with some contending that Oddsson was the “editor behind the scenes”, even during the paper’s supposedly impartial years. Morgunblaðið has thus had a difficult time shaking its image as an Independence Party soapbox.
Magnússon also added that the newspaper will be working with the television station Skjár 1 on a news show, and attempted to quell fears that Morgunblaðið would become an even greater conservative mouthpiece. “We will continue to report impartial, honest and fair news on everything that matters,” Magnússon told reporters. “Nothing will change in that regard.”
Morgunblaðið’s full press release, in Icelandic, can be downloaded from here.