Olympics editor and cycling writer to leave Telegraph

Jacquelin Magnay, the paper’s Olympics editor and one of the most senior women sports journalists working in Britain, and Brendan Gallagher, the cycling correspondent, are among the latest sports desk casualties of the “restructuring” exercise being undertaken at the Telegraph.

Jacquelin Magnay: had inside track on Olympic stories for Telegraph
Jacquelin Magnay: she had inside track on 2012 London Olympic stories for the Telegraph

These follow the departure, as we reported last week, of the long-standing sports editor of the Sunday Telegraph, Peter Mitchell.

The highly regarded Magnay had been recruited to the Telegraph after London was awarded the 2012 Games, following a long and highly decorated career as a senior sports correspondent at the Sydney Morning Herald, where she had performed a similar role for the 2000 Olympics.

Only last week, Magnay was at the SJA’s British Sports Journalism Awards, where one of her stories was short-listed for the Sports Scoop of the Year prize.

Also understood to be leaving from the sports desks are Brian Stater, who has been a fixture on the subs desk for nearly 30 years, Matt Leach and Rod Gilmour.

Separate from the “restructuring”, the paper has also lost its award-winning sports news correspondent, Paul Kelso, who has joined Sky News, while Paul Ackford, the Sunday Telegraph‘s respected rugby columnist, has recently retired.

More than 80 journalists are expected to leave the newspapers in this latest merging of daily, Sunday and website operations, the biggest cull of its type at the titles since 2008. Some staff are opting to take voluntary redundancy. “These culls always seem to follow the Olympics,” one demoralised staffer at Victoria told

The Telegraph group’s management is supposed to be recruiting 50 digital staff, “but the expectation is that they will be first-jobbers, straight from college, with no experience of contacts, all on 20 grand a year,” said the source.

Brendan Gallagher: covered cycling and rugby
Brendan Gallagher: covered cycling and rugby

Earlier reports that the sports department might escape the worst of the latest job cuts appear badly misplaced, even though the sports pages, in the newspaper and online, are regarded as the economic engine room of the Telegraph‘s commercial operations.

Magnay was not available for comment, but is understood to have plans for a venture of her own, and to remain based in London.

The departure of Gallagher, who has been on the staff for almost 20 years, appears odd given the bright new digital future planned for the news organisation, since he offered a prolific output on Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Britain’s most successful Olympic sport, as well as his coverage of rugby union, on which he regularly contributed unique pnline articles, webchats and live updates for the Telegraph website.

He, too, was unavailable to comment, as was Ben Clissitt, the Telegraph’s head of sport.

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