Lord Ashcroft Hires Former Porn Star

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Dods Group plc, the struggling political publishing business controlled by Lord Ashcroft, lost another £5 million last year. Ashcroft’s third CEO, Martin Beck on a mere £177,779, lasted only a year before being going. The publisher of The House magazine and PoliticsHome.com among other titles managed to lose £5 million on the back of write downs of asset valuations. Last year the Group reported the loss in earnings before tax of £5 million following a previous loss of £1.5 million in 2014. Guido is at a loss to understand how the firm can lose almost £20,000 per employee. The losses are ongoing year after year to such an extent that one begins to wonder if there is not some tax benefit, or if the balance sheet is being deliberately shrunk. Falling revenues have seen the headcount reduced from 280 to 260 – though the firm still has some 58 managers. The Dods share price is still trading below the price Lord Ashcroft paid in 2011 and the firm has not paid a single dividend since he got control…

Who has Lord Ashcroft hired to turn the firm around? Guy Cleaver, until recently Managing Director of Dods‘ events and training businesses, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for all the group’s businesses. Prior to joining the world of training Guy had a short-lived career in adult entertainment…

Here is a much younger Guy Cleaver starring in Witchcraft X. These are the more family friendly bits:

Hopefully Guy can sex up Lord Ashcroft’s political publishing business…

mdi-timer 11th May 2016 @ 12:47 pm 11th May 2016 @ 12:47 pm mdi-comment Comments
Kevin Schofield New PoliticsHome Editor

Welcome to the internet to the Sun’s chief political correspondent, Kevin Schofield, who is taking over from Paul Waugh at PoliticsHome:

From “politics without the boring bits” at SunNation, to the boring bits at PoliticsHome…

mdi-timer 12th May 2015 @ 4:50 pm 12th May 2015 @ 4:50 pm mdi-comment Comments
More Dods Losses: Paul Waugh to HuffPo

Replacing Mehdi at HuffPo is:

Following on from Sam McCrory’s move to the BBC this means struggling Dods have now lost their two most senior editorial staff in two months. Smart move by AOL, Mehdi was more of a polemicist and interviewer than a news man. Comment is cheap and over-supplied, news is in more demand. Waugh has a better nose for news than his predecessor. Congratulations… It’s still Waugh!

mdi-timer 13th February 2015 @ 2:39 pm 13th Feb 2015 @ 2:39 pm mdi-comment Comments
Total Politics Closing Immediately

totalpolitics-closed

Ashcroft-owned political publishers Dods are shutting the perpetually loss making Total Politics magazine. There will be no January issue. Just in time for Christmas…

Guido always thought it was brave to bring out a politics/lifestyle print magazine in the twenty first century. Printing being expensive and lifestyle journalism being over-supplied already. It was always going to be a brutal world for a political magazine that was self-described as a “relentlessly positive magazine”. Good news doesn’t sell…

UPDATE: This statement from Dods came in after the above went to pixel:

“Total Politics is moving online-only from 2015 as part of our wider digital-first strategy. Total Politics’ following online is greater than in print, partly a reflection of our younger audiences inside and outside Westminster. Like many media organisations facing the same commercial and editorial realities, we aim to serve our readers in a format that suits them best.”

mdi-timer 18th December 2014 @ 10:57 am 18th Dec 2014 @ 10:57 am mdi-comment Comments
Dods Posts Losses for Fourth Year in a Row

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Dods, the publisher of PoliticsHome, Total Politics and House Magazine has posted its fourth successive year of losses. It is now losing £30,000-a-week or a total of £1.5 million last year, bringing the total losses since Lord Ashcroft took control up to £12 million, about as much as he paid for his controlling share. Subsidiary Dods Parliamentary Communications Limited, which holds the non-print publications and is the online future of the firm, managed to lose £1,624,282. Unsurprisingly the share price is down another 25% on the year and some 75% since Ashcroft bought his shareholding…

For years the business has claimed that whereas the political blogs have scale and a greater reach, their publications such as the House Magazine were read by more MPs – the target market for lobbyists and advertisers who pay Dods to help them engage with MPs.  Survey after survey shows that this is no longer the case. According to independent research more Labour MPs read LabourList, more Tory MPs read ConservativeHome and LibDemVoice is read by most LibDem MPs. Overall more MPs read Guido than the House Magazine, which often goes unread straight into the wastepaper basket…

mdi-timer 9th July 2014 @ 8:00 am 9th Jul 2014 @ 8:00 am mdi-comment Comments
Dods’ Tweeter of the Year Isn’t on Twitter

Well this is embarrassing. At last night’s Dods parliamentary awards, editor-in-chief Paul Waugh proudly presented the award for Tweeter of the Year to iPad-loving Labour MP Tom Harris. Dods explained that they felt Harris was a worthy winner “for his daily usage of Twitter.” Just one problem: Harris isn’t actually on Twitter

mdi-timer 29th January 2014 @ 4:45 pm 29th Jan 2014 @ 4:45 pm mdi-comment Comments
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