Fletcher looks forward after 'amicable' split with Telegraph

By Dominic Ponsford

Telegraph Group editorial director Kim Fletcher was philosophical
this week after losing his job because his wife Sarah Sands has been
made editor of The Sunday Telegraph.

He said: “The nature of the media industry is that things change and
keep changing – rest assured there’s no concern about this at home.”

Fletcher said his parting with the Telegraph Group was “completely amicable”

and no leaving date had yet been set. He plans to pursue other business opportunities and will remain within the media.

Fletcher
was consultant editor and media columnist when he was promoted to the
Telegraph Group board in October 2003. His exit was agreed following a
meeting with chief executive Murdoch MacLennan after last Tuesday’s
news that Sands was to replace Dominic Lawson at The Sunday Telegraph.

He
said: “We got together and decided there’s clearly a conflict with
Sarah running the Sunday. It was a very straightforward conversation
and we shook hands on this.”

Fletcher added: “Over the past two
years at the Telegraph, having a senior management role here, my circle
of business contacts has widened considerably.

The newspaper
industry is an exciting place to be and [my next role] will be in the
media area. I’m not rushing off to be a lawyer or something.”

Fletcher’s
job was to provide an editorial voice on the board and liaise with the
marketing and commercial departments. It is thought that the editorial
director post may be phased out following his exit.

Fletcher
appeared to have been sidelined in February this year when former Daily
Mail managing editor Lawrence Sear was brought in to take over staff
negotiations on job cuts.

Just days after Fletcher gave
assurances to union representatives over redundancies, staff were told
that 90 journalists would have to go.

Speaking out about the row
for the first time, Fletcher said: “That was blown out of all
proportion. I made it clear at the time that there would be some
redundancies at some point in the year. Everything started escalating
because the whole world starts talking about redundancies, so the
process was brought forward.”

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