Doyen of media reporters Ray Snoddy started a new weekly column in The Independent this week after declining to stay at The Times on a freelance basis after being sacked in June.
The former Times media editor was part of a cull reported to involve 25 senior journalists in what was euphemistically called a series of “agreed departures”. He had been at the paper for seven years and before that was media reporter at the Financial Times for 19 years.
Snoddy said: “I decided it would be better to have a clean break. It was called an agreed departure and when something like that happens, it’s rather better to depart.”
He said he was called by Independent editor Simon Kelner as soon as news broke that he was leaving The Times.
The final deal was struck over lunch at exclusive restaurant The Ivy.
Snoddy will write features and profiles for The Independent’s media section on Tuesdays. His first piece was an interview with Martin Sorrell, chief executive of advertising giant WPP.
Snoddy said of his exit from The Times: “There was no explanation – I was just called in and told I was going to be an agreed departure. I’m not terribly sad about it.”
He will continue to write a weekly column for Marketing Week and is expected to do other freelance work.
He has already worked with Oxford Films and Television on a pitch for a new media show planned for digital TV channel BBC4.
In a column in the Royal Television Society Journal, Snoddy explained why he refused an offer to continue writing for The Times: “You can’t be either a little bit pregnant or a little bit fired.”