Former News of the World staffers launch new sports agency

A former News of the World football writer had recruited a former colleague from the newspaper to write for his Newcastle-based sports news agency which launched this month.

Ray Ryan, a NoW staffer for nearly 14 years before leaving early in September, told Press Gazette that former News of the World football writer Jim Keat has joined the two-week-old National Press Agency.

Ryan said: ‘It cannot have started any better, we’ve had big shows in all the national papers as well as all the papers in Newcastle. We’re making a decent profit out of it.

‘I always thought there was an audience for hard-hitting sports stories”

Ryan said Keat, who returns to journalism after a break of one year, was a ‘fantastic reporter with contacts all around the world”.

Ryan, who covered the north east for NoW and also worked for the South London Press and Peterborough Evening Telegraph, said the agency had enjoyed a successful start to its life, selling stories to several nationals.

Ryan and Keat along with two freelances, have had success writing about the dramatic events surrounding Newcastle United recently, which have seen manager Kevin Keegan resign after a row with owner Mike Ashley, a mass fan protest at the club’s ownership and the appointment of Joe Kinnear as manager on a short-term basis.

The agency offers match reports and press conference coverage but specialises in off-diary sports scoops.

‘I don’t want to be disparaging about sports agencies, I worked for one, Hayters, which is one of the best in the business but they seem to be in a stale market of football matches and press conferences. We are actively going out there and being proactive,’said Ryan.

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