Spiking of Slickers spread leads to Greenslade's exit from Telegraph

By Jon Slattery

Media commentator Roy Greenslade is understood to have resigned from The Daily Telegraph after his spread on the Daily Mirror’s City Slickers affair was spiked last week. Greenslade is believed to have quit on Friday and will leave at the end of March after negotiating an early end to his one-year contract.

This week his contribution to the Tuesday pages was again reduced to just one left-hand column. It is understood that a piece he wrote on the Profumo Affair for his spread was rejected and replaced with an article on Vodafone.

The same fate happened to his Slickers spread the week before, which reported that the Press Complaints Commission was looking into the affair once again, following evidence given in the trial of ex-Slicker James Hipwell.

Greenslade claimed information about the Slickers, given to the PCC by Trinity Mirror, had proved to be false in the light of evidence that emerged during Hipwell’s trial, in particular the number of Viglen shares said to have been bought by the then Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan.

There is speculation that Greenslade might return to The Guardian, which published his pulled Slickers article on its website last week. He was recruited to The Telegraph last October by the then editor Martin Newland, who left shortly afterwards.

Media columns can attract high-level flak and it’s thought the current Telegraph top brass is less of a mind to back Greenslade than Newland in battles with angry media executives from rival companies. The owners of the Telegraph, the Barclay brothers, are sensitive about exposure in the media and are currently suing The Times in the French courts over an article on their business affairs.

It is not clear whether the Telegraph will continue with dedicated media coverage within its business pages.

Former Times media commentator Brian MacArthur now works for the Telegraph group and was meant to stand in for Greenslade when he was away.

The PCC said this week that it is "making further enquiries" into the Slickers affair. It is understood the Commission has written to Trinity Mirror.

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