TLS "committed to standards" after Duguid loss

The editor of the Times Literary Supplement has said the newspaper's "commitment to continuing and enhancing TLS standards of criticism... remains absolute," despite announcing the redundancy of its fiction editor.

Lindsay Duguid has been at the TLS for 33 years and fiction editor since 1990. Neither her post, nor that of arts editor Will Eaves, who is leaving the TLS to take up an academic post, will be directly replaced.

Authors, publicists and reviewers reacted with dismay to news of the changes. Val McDermid tweeted the ending of Duguid's role at the TLS was "a terrible loss". Reviewer Alex Clark said: "Lindsay started so many careers and has been so supportive of authors and writing."

Stothard said the decision had been taken for purely budgetary reasons, but that financial pressures on the TLS were "very gentle" by the standard of the present times. He said: "I doubt if the value and values of the TLS have ever been more appreciated - both internally and externally. In the current difficult economic climate for the media our subscribers and advertisers are among the most loyal in the world." However, he added: "Like any responsible paper we have annually to adjust our spending to our costs of editing, production and technologies of distribution".

Small changes in responsibilities will be announced in the next few weeks, and a further permanent staff member will join the TLS team, leaving the newspaper with nine full-time members of staff plus other part-time and consultant editors. Stothard said: "Our commitment to continuing and enhancing TLS standards of criticism - from around the world and in all our current subject areas - remains absolute."