End of Telegraph-zia Era Coincides With Profits Rise

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.

*Can we not get the usual 4 calls that follow any article about Chris Evans’ reign of terror.
mdi-timer 14 June 2022 @ 13:23 14 Jun 2022 @ 13:23 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
What They Said at the Time: Lee Cain’s Leaving Drinks

Last night’s Partygate photos, taken at Lee Cain’s leaving drinks on 13th November 2020, will prove difficult terrain for the PM, even after having escaped a second fine from the Met’s investigation last week. In November 2020 the country was in a full national lockdown, with gatherings only permitted if “reasonable” for work…

As with the birthday cake debacle, details of the gathering were leaked to the press contemporaneously, to very little fanfare. On 15th November 2020, two days after the event, the Telegraph revealed Boris gave “a leaving speech” for Cain, who was then cheered out by colleagues:

“The Telegraph has learnt that Mr Johnson gave a leaving speech for Mr Cain, who stayed in Number 10 for hours after Mr Cummings had departed. One member of staff said: “It was a very warm speech, the Prime Minister talked about how good a friend Lee had been and how they would continue to be friends. It was a nice gesture…

Former journalist Mr Cain was then “banged out” by colleagues, a tradition borrowed from Fleet Street, in which people thump on desks to show their affection for a departing co-worker”

The Sunday Times ran with a similar line on the 14th:

“Johnson visited Cain in his office and signed a pair of boxing gloves emblazoned with “Get Brexit done” before making a speech wishing him well. “He’s the only one of my staff who always answers phone calls, no matter what time of day or night,” Johnson said, adding: “I sometimes wait for days for Dom to return them.””

At the time, the focus was naturally on the circumstances of Cain and Cummings’ departure – not the farewell speech afterwards, though not a single member of the media decided to go through Covid laws line-by-line to see if it was permissible. Of course, there may well be more incriminating evidence to come, and it’ll likely be a sticky wicket for Boris to defend in front of the Commons Standards and Privileges committee. Still, Guido struggles to see the difference between wine and crisps in Downing Street, and beer and curry in Durham…

mdi-timer 24 May 2022 @ 08:59 24 May 2022 @ 08:59 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Blimey Riley! Seeking Political Editor Job Swap

There was some consternation and amusement when word went round Guardian towers that Ben Riley-Smith, The Telegraph’s political editor for the last year, had applied for the vacant political editor’s position at The Guardian. Audacious and unprecedented…

It is a tribute to the unhappiness at Telegraph towers that a senior hack would apply for a job transfer to their polar opposite rivals. Asking around colleagues as to whether he would fit in with the somewhat different editorial stance, the memorable line quipped to Guido was that Ben is an “Etonian shapeshifter” who would more than cope. The Guardian could certainly benefit from some journalistic political insight with more Eton-influenced sympathies…

A senior source said the “Telegraph is a horrible place and you’re always on death row” under editor Chris Evans’ reign of terror. A more junior source citing Riley-Smith’s “byline banditry” says he won’t be mourned if he moved. Guido wishes him luck…

mdi-timer 22 April 2022 @ 12:43 22 Apr 2022 @ 12:43 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Hoyle Strips Telegraph Hack of Parliamentary Pass

Yesterday’s Sunday Times made a passing reference to an unnamed “Lobby journalist” being “stripped of their parliamentary pass last week following reports about their raucous behaviour”.  The fearless Lobby cartel’s “rule of omerta” when it comes to their own is in play. Guido understands it was a Telegraph Lobby journalist who was stripped of their pass last week following a row in a bar. No one at The Telegraph is willing to comment…

This will reduce the number of Telegraph journalists with passes giving them access to Parliament from 23 to 22. They’ll just have to cope somehow…

UPDATE:  A Telegraph spokesman gets in touch “We are aware of an incident, we take the matter of parliamentary security seriously, and are dealing with the matter accordingly.”

mdi-timer 4 April 2022 @ 15:30 4 Apr 2022 @ 15:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Telegraph Deputy Editor Jane Bruton Out

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.

Thanks.

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…

mdi-timer 31 March 2022 @ 18:10 31 Mar 2022 @ 18:10 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Grant Shapps Accidentally Insults Telegraph

Operation Red Meat appears to have transformed into Operation ‘just announce anything’ as this morning the Department for Transport has come out with a new policy of reducing annoying train tannoy announcements. The policy, that was presumably greeted with “yes and ho” in the Horseferry Road office, will see the “endless torrent” of train announcements curbed to make journeys “a little more peaceful”. 

In a promo video, Shapps can be seen reading the Telegraph before putting it down and asking viewers – à la Clarkson -“do we really need to be told to put our newspapers in the bin?”. The video itself is captioned “📢 ‘…put unwanted newspapers in the bin…'”. Given the Telegraph’s long-time loyalty to the government, Guido’s amazed Shapps’ SpAds didn’t make the obvious gag, and have him reading the Guardian…

mdi-timer 21 January 2022 @ 11:05 21 Jan 2022 @ 11:05 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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