Senior Sporting Life staff to quit

Sporting Life’s marketing director Simon McQuiggan and ad sales director Neil Webster are among redundancies expected to follow Mirror Group’s decision not to relaunch the title as a daily sports newspaper.

As predicted in Marketing Week (March 4), news of the failed relaunch was confirmed by chief executive John Allwood, at the publication of Mirror Group’s preliminary results last Thursday.

McQuiggan, former Whitbread marketing director for ales and stout and Webster, the former head of sales at London News Radio, and his deputy Dale Butler, head of strategic planning and also of London News Radio, are expected to decline offers of other jobs within Mirror Group.

Richard Ellis, deputy editor of Sporting Life, is considering the offer of an alternative editorial post within Mirror Group. The 32 remaining editorial staff are in the process of having face-to-face interviews with group managing editor Pat Pilton, who was overseeing editorial direction of the newspaper. Some may be offered alternative jobs within Mirror Group.

Jeremy Reed, managing director of the Mirror Group’s sporting division, says: “It’s their decision as to whether or not they stay with Mirror Group. If they decide not to, then whatever contractual entitlement is due will be paid in a lump sum.”

Despite speculation over his future, Reed maintains he will continue in his present role overseeing management of the Racing Post and sitting on the board of the Sporting Life online joint venture with the Press Association. He is also looking to acquire other sporting titles for Mirror Group. Senior members of the Sporting Life team are also understood to be exploring the possibility of securing other backers for the newspaper’s relaunch.

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