Guido has been critical of The Telegraph’s direction, receiving plenty of emails from unhappy former readers about it. So it is only fair to report that the Telegraph Media Group (TMG) has seen profits rise and claims online subscriptions have reached a record 740,000 paying subscribers, generating a 25% rise in pre-exceptional operating profits. They say that online subscriptions are generating £44 million in revenue which they claim gives “blended average revenue per subscription (ARPS) for December 2021” of £175. Which is triple what Guido gets (£59.45) from dividing £44 million by 740,000 paying subscribers. So either Guido is missing something or the figures don’t compute, particularly as everybody Guido knows is on the £1 subscription deal. Perhaps The Telegraph’s energetic* PR could call to explain?
It is noticeable that this all coincides with the bloody end of the Grazia era at the Telegraph. First the Telegraph Magazine editor, Marianne Jones, and her deputy Lucy Dunn, both went off with stress after falling out with editor Chris Evans last year, and never came back. Then “Director of Lifestyle” Jane Bruton herself popped out for coffee one day and never returned – not fired as her lawyers insisted unconvincingly to Guido (there was no leaving party either, a shocked newsroom source told Guido). Then Features Director Vicki Harper also went off with something stress-related at the same time as Jane, formally leaving the company last week (presumably after coming to some financial agreement with TMG). The question a lot of people are asking is: why were they ever hired in the first place? It appears, seven years later, Chris Evans came to the same conclusion.
Jane Bruton, The Telegraph’s deputy editor is unexpectedly out. With the latest figures showing print circulation down 14% the paper is upping the news quotient. Bruton, who was Grazia’s editor-in-chief before joining the Telegraph in 2015, was director of lifestyle and deputy editor. The news came as a surprise to the newsroom. Senior Telegraph sources are keen to tell Guido that she is going of her own volition.
UPDATE: Chris Evans emailed Telegraph staff the following:
After seven glorious years, Jane Bruton has left The Telegraph to pursue new challenges. We’ll miss her enormously and we’d like to thank her for her marvellous contribution in helping us reach 750,000 subscriptions, with the target of 1 million firmly in sight. Paul Nuki will act as temporary replacement for Jane, reporting to me. Kath Brown will continue to run the Lifestyle half of Features and she will also report to me. Anyone interested in replacing Jane, and helping to lead The Telegraph in its digital transformation, should apply to Adam Sills.
No mention of what Bruton’s new challenges might be and strange that if she had, as Evans claims, decided to leave presumably after having given her notice as normal, that no permanent replacement was lined up. According to a source, struggling editor Chris Evans’s “reign of terror” is also the explanation for Jane Bruton’s deputy, Victoria Harper, being on sick leave. It will be interesting to see how the paper is doing when their annual figures are out later this month…