The Daily Telegraph reacted rapidly and brought forward its new daily sports supplement, planned for 15 May, when it learned The Times was also to bring out a daily, 12-page, separate broadsheet sports section.
Press Gazette reported the Telegraph’s plans last week. The Times Sports Daily, edited by Keith Blackmore, is designed to build on innovations in sport at the paper in recent years. It follows the success of the Football Handbook (launched in October last year) and recent handbooks on rugby and Formula 1.
The new supplement will cover a wide-range of sports from bowls and badminton to the FA Cup Final and, the paper claims, will include the most advanced sporting results service in the British press. It will feature The Times’s team of award-winning sports writers including Simon Barnes, Danny Baker, Matt Dickinson, John Goodbody, Oliver Holt, John Hopkins, Alison Kervin, Christopher Martin-Jenkins and Rob Wright.
Times editor Peter Stothard said: "Over the past six years, The Times has led the way in quality sports coverage and this excellence is reflected both in the response of readers and in the number of our award-winning writers. The new daily section will give this talented team more scope to cover the sporting world. Sport is an important element of the paper and this change reflects our commitment to providing the best coverage."
With the new Sports section, the weekday Times, published Monday to Friday, will comprise three sections and the Saturday paper remains unchanged at seven sections (eight in London and the South East).
lWith the General Election set for 7 June, The Times is to have a reshuffle of senior posts this summer.
Ben Preston remains deputy editor while assistant editor Michael Gove will relinquish the home editor’s seat and take his place as No.4 on the rota to edit the paper in the absence of Stothard, Preston and No.3 Graham Paterson.
Paterson, who has held a number of top jobs at the paper, swaps from Comment editor to be home editor. Gove is to write for the op-ed page and for the tabloid features section T2.
Nicholas Wapshott, the paper’s Saturday editor, is heading for New York to be North American correspondent. The bureau there currently houses columnist Joanna Coles, predicted to be returning to London shortly, and reporter James Bone.
Paterson’s old job at Comment will go to Tim Hames, who also becomes chief leader writer instead of Rosemary Righter. Righter is to be a special writer, but will continue to write leaders.
Managing editor George Brock said: "General Elections usually concentrate the minds of editors and managing editors and a newspaper’s top team needs occasional refreshment and reorganisation. In the normal course of events, we would probably have waited until after the election but we thought we would get on with matters now."
by Jean Morgan