Mail stars poached
The editor of the Daily Telegraph, Tony Gallagher, has gone back to his alma mater, the Daily Mail, to poach two of its star columnists, Peter Oborne and Allison Pearson.
Oborne, a former political editor of The Spectator, is set to be the Telegraph's chief political commentator and will be an alternative voice to those of the veteran writer Simon Heffer and the deputy editor Benedict Brogan, another former Mail journalist who was hired for his Cameroonian contacts. Pearson, who has worked at the Telegraph before, was seen by the Mail as a possible successor to the opinionated Lynda Lee-Potter.
Dischord at Mojo
Music journalists are in uproar over plans by Bauer Magazines to introduce ruthless contracts for freelancers working for Q, Kerrang! and Mojo so that the writers and photographers give up rights to their work but also become liable in entirety for any legal action that might arise from it. "You will indemnify us from all claims, proceedings, costs, losses, expenses, and other liabilities..." runs a threatening line in contracts that Bauer demanded be signed by last Friday. Up to 200 freelancers are resisting, including two former Mojo editors, Mat Snow and Paul Trynka, the legendary rock writer Nick Kent, the musician Billy Bragg, columnist Miranda Sawyer and the photographers Jill Furmanovsky and Kevin Westenberg, who shot the cover art for Coldplay's Clocks and U2's 7. The refusal campaign is backed by the broadcaster and former Q writer Stuart Maconie.
On yer bike, James
The famously green James Murdoch is struggling to persuade staff at BSkyB, where he is non-executive chairman, of the importance of pedal power. Despite much promotional activity, an internal poll of Sky workers found that 82.12 per cent would "never" cycle to work. That's a bit embarrassing, especially given the company's sponsorship of the Team Sky pro-cycling team and its backing of Boris Johnson's Skyride scheme.