Sports journalists urged to 'cash in'

By Dominic Ponsford
 
Journalists could be missing out on thousands of
pounds in extra cash by being too good-natured, according to former
Daily Telegraph sports editor David Welch.

Six months after being made redundant in the first round of cuts at
the Telegraph, Welch has started a new business acting as an agent for
some of the country’s leading sports journalists.

The business
involves managing their TV and radio appearances, after-dinner speaking
engagements, corporate appearances, book deals and freelance writing.

He
said: “Print journalists should be far more aware of their worth to
other forms of media and I think TV and radio can take advantage of a
journalists’ good nature and, to some extent, ego.”

Journalists
already on Welch’s books include David Walsh, Stephen Jones and Paul
Kimmage (Sunday Times), Sue Mott, Mihir Bose, Jim White and Martin
Johnson (Daily Telegraph), James Lawton and Sam Wallace (Independent)
and Cornelius Lysaght from the BBC.

Welch said: “I’ve tried to
put together a team of high-quality sports writers and plan to look
after their business interests over and beyond their actual staff roles.

“In
the past, sports journalists must be alone in being expected to make
radio and TV appearances for negligible amounts and, in somes cases,
for nothing at all.”

Welch, who spent 15 years as sports editor
of The Daily Telegraph, said the sums of money involved could vary from
as little as £100 for appearing on a small radio or TV programme to
six-figures for some sports book deals.

He said: “I believe there
is enormous scope to increase the commercial opportunities for sports
journalists and to ensure they are more appropriately rewarded and
respected. Sport has sustained newspapers and launched both TV channels
and internet sites. Yet the part sports journalists have played in this
continues to be seriously underplayed and undervalued.”

Welch can be contacted on 01858 555618.

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