In a surprise move after shedding all but 10 of its correspondents last month, The Business – the retitled Sunday Business – is advertising this week in Press Gazette for new business writers to join its "small but talented team".
One of the 10, Rob Griffin, retail correspondent, is leaving to join his father’s business and managing director, Paul Woolfenden, said The Business would be recruiting two or three journalists altogether.
Since going on sale for two days a week at half the price (50p) of Sunday Business, the revamped paper has had record sales of 81,716 for January. Also leaving is Richard Northedge, one of the guiding figures since the paper’s relaunch four years ago under the Barclay brothers. He goes next week.
His role as joint executive editor, with Ian Watson, will not to be filled. Instead, two associate editors have been appointed – Michael Watts, who edited the Financial Times’s The Business magazine, and Paul Dunn, who was deputy editor of Sunday Business’s Business & Pleasure magazine until its closure in December. Dunn was previously Michael Pilgrim’s deputy at the Sunday Express.
Both start this month and their responsibilities will be decided when they arrive.
Woolfenden said: "They have different skillsets."
Northedge has been working to editor-in-chief Andrew Neil at The Business since it moved to the Press Association’s London headquarters last month.
Colleagues believe Northedge, who was deputy editor at Sunday Business, is quitting because he does not have as much authority at The Business as he expected to have.
He told Press Gazette: "I think it is fair to say that Andrew, as editor-in-chief, is the man in control."
Northedge has no new job lined up but said: "I was happy with all the changes that happened at The Business.
"I was one of the leading people pushing forward the cost-cutting. I think it has worked. We have got most of the best writers still on the paper and the writing is of the high standard it always was. Circulation has resp-
onded very well.
"But I decided that as part of the cost-cutting exercise I ought to go and that it was time to look for something else.
"I shall miss the paper very much."
Before, Northedge was deputy City editor of The Daily Telegraph, where he worked for 18 years.
Woolfenden said Northedge’s departure was sad. "But it’s a different paper – more in The Economist mould – and we have to respect his feelings," he said. "There’s no animosity.
"He was concerned before he came over and Andrew is more hands-on, there is no doubt about that."
By Jean Morgan