Howard Wheatcroft was last night confirmed as the group head of sport at Express Newspapers, after more than eight years as sports editor of the Daily Star.
The move had been anticipated following the departure earlier in the week of Bill Bradshaw, the long-time Daily Express sports editor, amid reports that up to 70 jobs are likely to be cut across the Express and Star titles in a bid to make £5 million in savings.
“It’s a challenging job in a challenging year but one I will tackle with my usual enthusiasm and the help of a lot of talented and hard-working journalists,” Wheatcroft said.
Wheatcroft has been on the Star‘s sports staff since 1990, having joined from regional newspapers in Stockport, Salford and the north-east, as well as working on football weekly Match. He has been a member of the SJA committee since 2011.
Earlier this week, The Guardian reported that “…management has tabled cost-cutting proposals including axing the Daily Express‘s City pages and pooling motoring, travel and property content across some, or all, of Richard Desmond’s four newspapers”. Merging the sports desks across the papers also seems likely.
The NUJ chapel at Express Newspapers met earlier today, and is due to have further discussions with management over job cuts next week.
Northern & Shell, the company which owns the papers, has given reasons for the cuts including the launch of Rupert Murdoch’s Sunday edition of The Sun, which has hit circulation of the Daily Star Sunday, and the under-performance of the Health Lottery.
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