The Feral Beast


'City AM' subs suffer the terror of the Torpe

The entire desk of sub-editors at freesheet 'City AM' has been given its marching orders. Managing director Jens Torpe (left) said: "We have informed them that they are at risk of losing their jobs, and are not expected to come in next week during this consultation period." He confirmed that one news reporter and the picture editor, Lee Martin, are also on what he called the "at risk" list. The move, which would reduce the editorial staff by a quarter, comes only weeks after the paper's distribution figures reached a record 101,758. "I've been involved in launching free newspapers in 17 countries around the world, and I've never known them to employ subs," explained Torpe. "I don't know how we're going to get Monday's paper out," said one staffer. Meanwhile, an advert for a sub-editor at 'City AM' continues to appear on the media jobs website Gorkana, with applications to John Reynolds – one of those facing possible dismissal.

Height of good manners

Many happy returns to Geoffrey Levy, the small but perfectly formed 'Daily Mail' colour writer, who celebrated his 70th birthday last week. 'Mail' proprietor Lord Rothermere threw a lunch for him at Langan's Brasserie, attended by, among others, managing director Guy Zitter and columnists Peter McKay and Richard Kay. The Beast hears that on Rothermere's arrival everyone at the table got up except Levy, prompting someone to ask why he hadn't. "I am standing up!" wailed Levy. The story can't be true, but the old jokes are always the best.

Matthew's mystery girl

Who was the mystery blonde who arrived at the swanky 'Tatler' summer party with Matthew d'Ancona (below)? 'The Spectator' editor has recently separated from his wife, Sarah Schaefer, the fair-haired special adviser to David Miliband. D'Ancona's entrance with his guest went largely unnoticed as most eyes were fixed on Lucian Freud and David Hockney.

Style guru heads for States

Is London going out of fashion? As rumours swirl that Madonna is moving back to New York, I hear Vanessa Friedman, fashion editor of the 'Financial Times', is doing likewise. "I go in two weeks," she tells me at the Pink 'Un party at the Orangery in Kensington Gardens. "But I'll continue to edit the FT's fashion pages from the States." Among other guests gobbling smoked salmon with pink champagne were Alistair Darling and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou. What credit crunch?

Post-Blair blues

Long-serving 'Times' political commentator Peter Riddell is said to be having some political problems of his own. Riddell, friend of Whitehall's many Sir Humphreys, was much favoured by his past two editors, both of whom were Blair sympathisers. Amid all the excitement at 'The Times' since the arrival of James Harding, Riddell's articles have been appearing with less frequency, prompting some furtive whispers among political hacks. Watch this space.

They go on for ever

Is Alan Rusbridger thinking of moving on? Absolutely not, although excitable voices in Farringdon Road suggest the 'Guardian' editor will stand down following the integration with 'The Observer' and the move to new premises in King's Cross. A Guardian Media Group spokeswoman strongly denies this: "Guardian editors have a reputation for long service – Peter Preston was with us for 17 years. Alan has been editor since 1995 and may well be looking to beat C P Scott's record of 57 years!"

The cat and the columnist

Like actors, journalists should avoid children and animals, it seems. Tim Dowling of 'The Guardian' made the mistake of relating in his light-hearted Saturday column how he went on a two-week holiday and forgot to make arrangements for the cat. Although the poor mog managed to find a bag of cat food and "gnaw a hole the size of his head through it", I gather one anxious reader has reported him to the RSPCA. Columnists: think twice before writing a confessional.

#

Murdoch, Thatcher, Diana ... Letts lays into 'em all

It's a brave journalist who takes on Rupert Murdoch. It comes as no surprise that Quentin Letts of the 'Daily Mail' (and who once worked for the Digger) has done just that. Murdoch is one of those under attack in a forthcoming book by Letts called '50 People Who Buggered Up Britain'. Jeffrey Archer, Ed Balls, Greg Dyke and Alastair Campbell are all included. More surprising are his choices of Margaret Thatcher (brave for a 'Mail' hack) and Princess Diana (brave for anyone). "The woman was a liability," says Letts of the latter, "a soufflé of false ideas, a super-model with all that that entails. She was the glamorous tool of cleverer men, a plaything for the powerful, a delusion worshipped only by the impressionable."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive - West London - £35,000

£28000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A luxury fashion retailer based in W...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer / Front-End Designer - City of London

£27000 - £33000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End Devel...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Ledger & Credit Control Assistant

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...

Recruitment Genius: Junior PHP Web Developer

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable