More action in sports writer transfer market

Two national newspapers were over the moon this week when each recruited a high-profile sports writer. Martin Samuel is transferring from the Daily Express to the News of the World and Martin Lipton is quitting the Daily Mail for The Mirror.

Samuel is to be chief sports writer for the NoW and will also write a weekly sports column for The Times. Keith Blackmore, Times sports editor, said Samuel would write on all sports on Wednesdays.

Speaking to Press Gazette from the Winter Olympics at Salt Lake City, Samuel said: "The NoW is a great and hugely successful newspaper and the addition of a column on The Times gives me a spread across the media that no other sportswriter in the country has got."

He has been at the Express for more than four years as chief sports writer and before that was chief football writer at The Sun for more than 12 years.

Blackmore is strengthening his line-up of columnists. He already has Paul Ridley, Simon Barnes and Danny Baker and has another one in prospect.

Lipton, Daily Mail football correspondent, will follow in Harry Harris’s footsteps by becoming The Mirror’s chief football writer. He joins recent signings Oliver Holt, previously chief sports writer at The Times, and Matthew Norman, who has joined from the Evening Standard to write a sports column and do big-name interviews.

Mirror deputy editor Des Kelly said: "I’ve spent a long time trying to get the right people in place and now I think we’ve assembled the strongest team in the business in plenty of time for the World Cup.

"Ollie Holt will now have a huge stage to demonstrate he is the most incisive and intelligent commentator in the game, while Martin Lipton is a relentless newshound and story-getter, who appears to run on Duracell and Red Bull."

By Jean Morgan

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