Jonathan McEvoy, the Daily Mail‘s Formula 1 reporter since 2006, has been appointed as the paper’s Olympics correspondent in the run-up to London 2012.
In an unrelated development, PA Sport is not renewing the contract of its athletics reporter of the past 12 years, Dave Martin.
The Mail has been discussing the Olympics appointment for most of this year, with SJA member McEvoy, 33, being confirmed in the post only last Thursday.
He will continue to cover Grands Prix for the rest of this season, with Simon Cass shadowing him in that job.
McEvoy joined the Mail as a sports desk sub-editor from the Liverpool Post, and has become a respected figure as “a bloody good journo” among his F1 colleagues. McEvoy’s story last year of world champion Jenson Button’s move to McLaren saw him short-listed for the sports story of the year prize at SJA’s British Sports Journalism Awards.
It is unclear at this point how McEvoy’s appointment will impact the likes of Laura Williamson, who has penned an occasional online 2012 blog, or eminence gris Neil Wilson, who has covered the Olympics since 1972, his 19th Games being in Vancouver earlier this year for the Mail.
McEvoy is obviously excited by the prospect of what he calls “a big job”, which he compares to the news and sport role taken on recently at the Telegraph by Jaquelin Magnay.
“It’s been a great time covering Formula 1,” McEvoy told sportsjournalists.co.uk, “there’s been so many stories, so rich in news, with Lewis Hamilton’s emergence, the Max Mosley stories, the two successive British world champions, and now both of them in the same team at McLaren.
“But I’ll be able to see out this season, and now I’m really up for the big job that is the Olympics.”
Elsewhere, news of Dave Martin’s contract not being renewed by PA Sport came just ahead of last weekend’s European Cup athletics in Bergen.
Martin, 63, a former captain in the Royal Artillery, has worked on athletics for the Howden-based national agency since 1998, having previously reported for UK News.
His first full-time journalism job had come at Athletics Weekly following his retirement from the army 20 years ago, while he has also been closely associated with PR work for Brendan Foster’s Nova International group, organisers of the Great North Run.
PA Sport would not confirm the move, although within the athletics writers’ circle it is being suggested that Martin, as a contracted reporter, will not receive any redundancy payment.