A subtle roll-over from whoever’s in charge of the Telegraph’s pics…
Non-subscribers will now be limited to just 20 free articles a month as the new “Digital First” Telegraph goes behind a paywall. It seems to be an FT-style half-and-half-measure. If you want to carry on reading you will have to fork out £2-a-month, or a tenner on tablet. Whether it will be worth it in terms of lost readership shall remain to be seen…
With the axes swinging over at the Telegraph, their new “digital first” mantra must really be hitting home as even their most old school of correspondents are taking to the internet. Tim Walker, editor of the Mandrake column, has signed up to Twitter. The somewhat aloof diarist and noted wit seems to be getting the hang of it.
Uproar in Victoria in the run up to today’s mass redundancy announcements. Staff have been particularly put out by the eager camera crew drifting around the newsroom filming a slick info-mericial about the new “Digital First” plans before the eighty editorial staff getting the chop to fund it are even out of the door.
If these emails obtained by Media Guido are anything to go by, the sackings have been handled with all the tact of David Brent:
“Following the Townhall meetings on 12th March and our letter of 11th March, you will know that the Company is required to make a number of redundancies and it has been necessary to apply the selection criteria referred to in my letter of 12th March. We would like to arrange an individual meeting with you to discuss the provisional selection for redundancy exercise. You may, if you wish, bring a colleague or trade union representative along with you to the meeting.”
“Please note that my previous email was sent to all those who last week received a letter saying that they were at risk of redundancy. It did not mean that you have been selected for redundancy. Only those who are provisionally selected for redundancy will be communicated with later this week and will receive an appointment within the timeslots advised on the previous email. Apologies for any confusion or distress caused by the last email.”
The cheery tone adopted last night has not helped:
Ahead of a couple of very difficult days I want to let you know that Laurie in Services has very kindly offered to help staff with removing their personal belongings from the building. If you are made redundant you can go to the post room and get a cardboard box which you can then fill with your belongings and leave at your desk. Services will then contact you to arrange delivery of your belongings to your home address. Please label all boxes with your name, address and phone number.
It’s going to be a long day. Staff at the soon to be merged Sunday Telegraph seem most worried.
Earlier MediaGuido advised the Telegraph to get in touch with their legal department after running a photo of a Big Mac to accompany their horsemeat in schools story. McDonald’s are thus far untainted by the scandal, now the original picture has been replaced by a much less legally dubious cottage pie. Let’s hope no one at Maccy D’s noticed…
The Telegraph has a new head of business. Tim Jotischsky, deputy editor of the paper’s Sunday outfit, comes in to replace Damian Reece.
A Telegraph insider whispers to Media Guido that the circumstances around Reece’s departure are, as of yet, unknown, ‘but he doesn’t work here any more’.
UPDATE: Jotischsky keeps his position on the Sunday paper as well.
Journalists getting nicked are ten-a-penny these days, but this story is disturbing on a whole new level. Ben Leapman, the hack at the heart of the Telegraph’s expenses scandal exposé, has been in court this week on child porn charges. Leapman, who boasted of “my four-year battle for the truth” and was writing for the paper up until he left last month, is accused of publishing obscene articles on internet forums and making indecent photographs of children. Dark…
We are being spoiled for media ding dongs so far this year. You have to wonder whether Guardian website guy Jonathan Haynes still thinks that pointing out of a typo on the Telegraph was so funny. The replies from Telegraph Washington correspondent Jon Swaine have been sent into Guido half a dozen times:
Guido hears that the Standard’s political hack Peter Dominiczak is off to beef up the Telegraph’s political team. Dominiczak came to prominence during last year’s London Mayoral election.
The accomplished Ken-baiter starts his new gig on Monday…
This morning the Telegraph issued a carefully-worded apology to question-dodging Margaret Hodge:
“Contrary to our report “Hodge faces challenge over family firm’s taxes” (Nov 20), Stemcor, in which Ms Hodge has a small shareholding, has not abused transfer pricing to avoid tax. We accept that there is no inconsistency or hypocrisy in Ms Hodge criticising other companies for tax avoidance and apologise to her for any contrary impression.”
Note the very specific assertion that Stemcor did not abuse transfer pricing to avoid tax. Guido never made that claim. The paper’s willingness to describe a million pound plus shareholding as “small” is odd, and crucially there is no mention of Hodge’s use of shares held in trusts. She has still yet to reply to our repeated questions, which followed a very different line to the Telegraph’s accusations and have been sent again to her today. Guido stands by everything we have written.
The second government aide who threatened the Telegraph over the Maria Miller expenses story has been named as No10 director of communications Craig Oliver:
“In a phone call to the editor of this newspaper, Craig Oliver indicated that the article may be poorly timed as “she [Maria Miller] is looking at Leveson at the moment”…It can now be disclosed that after the contacts between Mrs Miller’s adviser and the newspaper, Mr Oliver phoned Tony Gallagher, the editor of the Daily Telegraph, last Friday morning. He said that Mrs Miller was “very distressed” about her family being questioned over her expense claims. The Downing Street communications director said that the Cabinet Minister, who is currently overseeing negotiations over a new system of press regulation, was considering making a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission. He then raised the fact that Mrs Miller was leading the Government’s response to the Leveson report which recommended statutory press regulation.”
It’s not the first time that Craig’s cack-handed media manipulation has emerged. See below for a classic example of a Craig Oliver bollocking:
Accusations from the Tories that the Telegraph coordinated their Maria Miller expenses story to coincide with the gay marriage announcement yesterday went down very badly over at Buckingham Palace Road. Still smarting, they have thrown the ‘rules’ out of the window and published rather embarrassing communications between Miller’s people and the paper in the run up to the story coming out:
“The Telegraph has decided to disclose details of the private conversations amid widespread concern about the potential dangers of politicians being given a role in overseeing the regulation of the press. When a reporter approached Mrs Miller’s office last Thursday, her special adviser, Joanna Hindley, pointed out that the Editor of The Telegraph was involved in meetings with the Prime Minister and the Culture Secretary over implementing the recommendations made by Lord Justice Leveson.
“Maria has obviously been having quite a lot of editors’ meetings around Leveson at the moment. So I am just going to kind of flag up that connection for you to think about,” said Miss Hindley. Miss Hindley also said the reporter should discuss the issue with “people a little higher up your organisation”.”
Not the best way to try to fight a negative story and particularly chilling in light of the fact Ofcom answers to the Culture Secretary – the exact chain of command that would control Leveson’s state backed press regulator. Eyebrows were raised about levels of experience after the Adam Smith mess at Culture when Miller hired Hindley back in September. She had been at Prince Charles’ Foundation as head of comms after a relatively junior role in the CCHQ press office. A pretty awkward situation…
The Sun’s business editor Steve Hawkes is off to the Telegraph to become their consumer affairs editor. The Standard diary had prematurely reported he was off to the Times, but the Telegraph have got their man this morning.
Still a step down from the Bank of England job though…
As MediaGuido reported last night, the Telegraph’s Chris Hope is the new chairman of the press gallery. He will take over from the Mail’s Tim Shipman in January. Jason Beattie of the Mirror stays as the honourable secretary, and Bloomberg’s Rob Hutton remains as honourable treasurer.[…] Read the rest
On Wednesday both the Mail and Telegraph splashed with the story of Energy Minister John Hayes declaring “enough is enough” over wind farms. The Mail’s report was labelled as an exclusive and their political editor James Chapman noted in his piece that Hayes’ remarks came from a private interview.[…] Read the rest
There is a fairly incredible editorial in this morning’s Telegraph that challenges the Prime Minister to fire his Chief Whip:
[…] Read the rest
“It is, of course, unfair that a successful ministerial career should end thanks to an intemperate outburst. Certainly, Mr Mitchell is entitled to feel aggrieved at the role played by the Police Federation.
The big media move today sees the Telegraph set up its new girls-only Wonder Women feature. Promising “sassy, irreverent and intelligent content about politics, business, family, life and sex”, the new women’s section has attracted an array of talent. Edited by tech hack Emma Barnett, Wonder Women’s star recruitments include comedian Katy Brand and Cathy Newman from Channel 4 News.[…] Read the rest
Media Guido understands that Romilly Weeks, who currently covers Westminster for ITV News, is set to become their full time Political Correspondent. The Telegraph’s Home Affairs Editor Martin Beckford is joining the Mail on Sundayin the same role.
Who else is on the move?[…] Read the rest
Telegraph Blogs readers have been enjoying the musings of Willard Foxton over the last seven days, with the former HuffPo contributor sharing his views on sexy Instagram photos amongst other things. Now Damian Thompson has pinched his second HuffPo blogger in two weeks, as Luke McGee joins the team on Monday.[…] Read the rest