Joe Lovejoy, football correspondent at The Sunday Times for the past 15 years, has been told that his job is “at risk”, the first step towards being made redundant. Reports suggest that more cuts may be about to made on the paper’s sports desk.
Last month, News International announced that more than 60 staff posts would be axed across its four Wapping-based, paid-for titles: The Sun, News of the World, The Times and Sunday Times.
The Sunday Times is to lose 20 posts, and initially the sports department was believed to be relatively safe from job cuts following recent departures of long-standing staff who had not been replaced.
But the redundancy of the paper’s well-known and respected football correspondent would be a major shock. “How can they seriously suggest that the post of football correspondent is ‘redundant’?” one insider asked. “Are they planning on dropping their coverage of the Premier League?
“It will be interesting to see how they decide to hand out job titles in the future.”
According to a report on the Media Guardian website, as well as Lovejoy, Ian Coxon, the paper’s long-standing production editor who also edits the world-famous Sunday Times Rich List, is also expected to leave. Coxon will leave the staff at the end of May after 23 years with the paper, while retaining his Rich List work as a freelance.
The Guardian report says, “Lovejoy, who joined the paper as football correspondent in 1994, is understood to be on a list of staff members who have been told their jobs are ‘at risk’, the first stage in the redundancy process. It is thought that Lovejoy is in the process of finalising the terms of his departure with executives on the paper.”
Lovejoy, who was previously at The Independent and the Mail of Sunday, has written biographies of George Best, Ryan Giggs and Sven-Goran Eriksson, and he is expected to freelance and to write more books.
Before Christmas, another of the Sunday Times‘s football writers, Jonathan Northcroft, was approached to join the Telegraph group, as a replacement for Sunday Telegraph football corr Paddy Barclay, who had been recruited by The Times. But the Northcroft deal broke down. Were Lovejoy to leave, Northcroft and Ian Hawkeye, who is based in Spain, would be the paper’s only two full-time football writers.
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