O’Connor one of three staff to leave Times sport

Ashling O’Connor, the sports news correspondent of The Times, is one of at least three sports desk staff to be leaving the paper in the latest round of redundancies.

Not in the swim: Ashling O'Connor took an active role in sports news coverage
No longer in the swim: Ashling O’Connor took an active role in sports news coverage

One of those understood to be leaving the sports desk has been on the staff at The Times for at least 25 years.

Separately, Patrick Kidd, who in recent weeks was reporting from the US Open golf and Wimbledon tennis, has been transferred from sport to head-up a new diary operation.

O’Connor, an SJA member, held her leaving drinks at Wapping last night.

After being recruited to The Times from the FT as a sports reporter by previous editor Robert Thomson a decade ago, she had spells as as the paper’s India correspondent, O’Connor then spent two years working for the news desk as Olympics correspondent, in the build-up to the 2012 London Games, before returning to sport. It is understood that she has not another position lined up immediately.

Last month, John Witherow, the newspaper’s acting editor, announced 20 editorial job cuts and warned journalists on the loss-making title that “the era of being subsidised is coming to an end” as parent company News Corporation prepares to separate its newspaper and entertainment businesses.

Times Newspapers’ latest accounts show a total loss of £28.7 million for the year to July 2012 on turnover of £361 million. This included a charge of £12.7 million for a redundancy scheme.


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