Stiff upper lips at the 'Statesman' as budgets are slashed
Sunday 02 September 2007
Despite the genial ownership of Geoffrey Robinson, the 'New Statesman' is not immune from the belt-tightening that has afflicted so much of print journalism in recent years. Robinson has told editor John Kampfner that he has to knock at least £100,000 off his budget, which was hardly the best endowed in the first place. Senior, pivotal members of staff who leave are not being replaced, and Kampfner and others have been talking bravely of a management buyout. Oh dear, I fear we have been here before.
Good week for
Google, which announced on Friday that it had struck deals with four major international news agencies to publish their stories on its Google News site. Google will scan output from the Press Association, Associated Press, Canadian Press and Agence France-Presse, displaying only the original agency stories and omitting from its search results any other versions of the same stories hosted on other websites. Where agencies do not have their own news site, Google will be hosting all the copy itself.
Bad week for
the Evening Standard. It appears that the paper's long-suffering street vendors are so fed up with commuters opting for a free paper that they are engaged in a guerrilla war to nobble the opposition. "Henry", a vendor at a Tube station, told 'Press Gazette': "I take a bottle of water when I leave here and when I get home I pour it over all the free papers."
Freebie endgame looms
A year after the London freesheets battle began, pundits are predicting with confidence, "This can't go on" – there is no room for 'thelondonpaper', 'London Lite' and its Associated stablemate, the (paid-for) 'Evening Standard'. Sales of the 'Standard' have been falling for a while, partly in response to the freesheets' arrival. An insistent, and well-placed, voice in the Associated management says the fight to keep charging 50p for the 'Standard' is close to being lost. Those who have bet on it merging with 'London Lite', and going free, increasingly feel their cash is well invested.
Honan on her way, again
Former 'Daily Telegraph' honcho Corinna Honan is back on the recruitment market. Honan, who left the paper a year ago, was given shelter for a while by the 'Daily Mail' as a features executive but her arrangement there has come to an abrupt halt. (The features editor, Leaf Kalfayan, is said to have found her surplus to requirements, while Honan herself complained that everyone in the department was being horrible to her.) Honan's delight in fiddling with other people's copy has not always endeared her to writers. At the 'Telegraph' she was known as "Honan the Barbarian".
Don't tell Dacre, but...
Paul Dacre's three-month absence from the 'Daily Mail' on health grounds does not seem to have affected the balance sheet. Under the editorship of Dacre's deputy Alistair Sinclair, circulation and ad sales have been exceedingly buoyant, with management delighted by returns and expressing open satisfaction that the paper has been getting off stone on time (something it seldom does when editor-in-chief Dacre is in charge). Is Sinclair in danger of proving too much of a success?
'The Sun' has been using its branded double-decker bus for all sorts of outings this summer. The vehicle was recently spotted touring Cornwall when the paper went overboard on stories about great white shark sightings. However, it appears not everyone is a fan of the bus. It turns out that some miscreant smashed its windscreen while it was parked within the supposedly secure perimeter of News International HQ. Could it have been an inside job? Perish the thought.
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