The feral beast: Staff staggered by redundancies
Sunday 11 January 2009
Tough times have hit the 'New Statesman', where several senior staff members have been threatened with redundancies. Barbara Gunnell, the mag's number 3, and Ian Irvine, the well-respected literary editor, were last week given letters to that effect.
Arts editor Alice O'Keeffe is leaving, but of her own volition, and there are plans to amalgamate arts and books under a culture editor. Gunnell, who gave up her post as comment editor of 'The Observer' to join the Staggers, is credited with helping keep the mag running during the interregnum between editors last year, and was even rewarded with a dinner in her honour. Publisher Spencer Neal said: "It's too early for me to say anything."
Nuptial bliss amid the ruins
At last good news from the 'Telegraph'. Opera critic Rupert Christiansen is to marry the paper's architecture correspondent, Ellis Woodman, in a civil partnership on Thursday. The ceremony at Lambeth Town hall will be followed by a party at the Garden Museum. "There won't be many 'Telegraph' people, or opera people," Christiansen tells me – "just 200 friends."
Big Borther's revenge
A witch-hunt is on at Guardian News and Media to find out who rearranged the letters of the sign in the lobby to spell "Grauniad". The paper acquired its nickname thanks to an ongoing joke in 'Private Eye' about the paper's once-prevalent typos. But execs at King's Place are not amused. I'm told they are scouring hours of CCTV footage to find the offender.
Hirst protects skull from Nick
It's one in the eye for 'Observer' columnist Nick Cohen, who has been refused permission by Damien Hirst to use an image of the diamond- encrusted skull on the cover of his book, 'Waiting for the Etonians: Reports from the Sickbed of Liberal England'. Hirst was doubtless wise to Cohen's motives – in the book he uses the skull as "a symbol of the money worship and vacuity of the bubble years".
Emily gets burnt by 'The Sun'
Let's hope Emily Bell of 'The Guardian' has learned never to get between a red top and its scoop. After 'The Sun' splashed on the mysterious case of a wind turbine damaged by a "UFO", Bell dismissed the story, claiming the mysterious lights in the sky seen at the time were from her family's fireworks party. But it's not just smug left-wing columnists who do dismissive. A follow-up in 'The Sun' branded her theory "ridiculous" and described the loftily titled director of digital content as "a local blogger for a small newspaper group".
Restoration of King Charles?
Rumours that the Barclay brothers are planning to sell the 'Telegraph' titles are hotly denied. But were anything drastic to happen, the 'ancien régime' is primed to return. I'm told a dinner was recently held for sacked leader writers at which Charles Moore gave a rallying speech. Old 'Telegraph' romantics dream of a triumphal return of Moore to the editorial seat, although he has been too busy writing Lady Thatcher's biography. But now that he has handed in the first manuscript ...
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