Richard Williams, The Guardian‘s chief sports writer, is the latest star name to have left the newspaper in a round of swingeing job cuts.
Williams’s last piece for the paper as its chief sports writer appeared on Monday, and followed a typically evocative overview of the greatest year in British sport published last week, in which the writer might just have indulged himself with a little self-reference in his intro:
“Is it really over? Has the final whistle been blown, the last point decided and the finish line crossed? Have the stumps been drawn, is the light fading over the 18th green, are the bookies paying out? Are we supposed to wake up now?”
Williams, 65, is understood to be among up to eight sports staffers to have taken voluntary redundancy terms in the newspaper’s management’s latest attempts to reduce its editorial budget by £7 million, a 10 per cent cut, following the business reporting £44 million losses and suffering a rapidly declining circulation. across the daily paper and its Sunday stablemate, The Observer.
Williams will continue to write a regular column for The Guardian, he informs sportsjournalists.co.uk.
As was reported here in October, among those also leaving the paper are former football correspondent Kevin McCarra, rugby writer Ian Malin and sport on TV reviewer Martin Kelner, whose contract was not renewed for 2013 after 16 years with the paper, his final Screen Break column appearing on Monday.
Williams has enjoyed a stellar and varied career, which has included editing London listings weekly Time Out and music paper Melody Maker, working as the head of A&R at Island Records, being the sports editor of a Murdoch London evening paper which never launched, assistant editor at The Times and chief sports writer at The Independent. He was even, along with “Whispering” Bob Harris, a co-presenter of the BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test in the 1970s.
- Entry forms for the 2012 SJA British Sports Journalism Awards are now available. Entries have to be submitted by January 28. You can download the forms by clicking here.