Powell latest Times sport man to leave

David Powell, athletics correspondent at The Times since 1990, is to leave the newspaper as part of the round of redundancies in which 30 journalists are expected to lose their jobs.

Powell, 55, has worked on the sports desk at the paper for 25 years in various roles, including chief sports sub, before going on the track circuit. A good class distance runner himself, with a sub-2hr 30min marathon best time, Powell also reported widely on football and tennis, as well as having taken on roles with the British Athletics Writers’ Association.

Now living in Devon, Powell intends to continue to freelance.

The newspaper will use staffer Rick Broadbent to cover athletics.

Barely a year before the Beijing Olympics, it means The Times has lost two of its most experienced journalists at the Games, since Powell joins John Goodbody, the newspaper’s sports news correspondent, in taking the voluntary redundancy offer, which has been reported as part of a package across News International’s four national titles plans to axe nearly 100 journalists, or around 7% of its editorial workforce to save more than £30 million.

Of these redundancies, 30 editorial posts are being lost at The Times, 20 at the News of the World and 20 at the Sunday Times, with the remaining cuts at The Sun.

Departing staff have been able to choose between two redundancy packages, it has been reported. News International is offering staff an uncapped package of three weeks pay for every year of service, or one month’s pay for every year of service, capped at 12 months. Staff leaving after June 1 have the advantage of their severance package calculated to include the 4% annual pay rise News International will give staff starting July 1.