The Sands equation: business, sport… and maths

By Dominic Ponsford

New Sunday Telegraph editor Sarah Sands has said she wants to “up the pace” at the paper.

And
after being appointed last Tuesday she has hit the ground running,
appointing a string of columnists and turning the whole of page two
into a digest section of short stories.

Jeremy Paxman has been
signed up to write a light-hearted diary-style column and Ann Stothard
(daughter of former Times editor Peter) is writing about university
life.

Another columnist starts this week to write a new section about maths.

Sands
told Press Gazette: “I think Sunday newspapers have to be much sharper
and more arresting to attract readers. Kitchen tables are already
littered with Saturday sections; Saturday has become a day of
relaxation. Sunday is when you recover your sense of purpose and
resolution.

“People go to the gym on Sundays.By Dominic Ponsford
New Sunday Telegraph editor Sarah Sands has said she wants to “up the
pace” at the paper.

And after being appointed last Tuesday she
has hit the ground running, appointing a string of columnists and
turning the whole of page two into a digest section of short stories.

Jeremy
Paxman has been signed up to write a light-hearted diary-style column
and Ann Stothard (daughter of former Times editor Peter) is writing
about university life.

Another columnist starts this week to write a new section about maths.

Sands
told Press Gazette: “I think Sunday newspapers have to be much sharper
and more arresting to attract readers. Kitchen tables are already
littered with Saturday sections; Saturday has become a day of
relaxation. Sunday is when you recover your sense of purpose and
resolution.

“People go to the gym on Sundays.

Children do
their homework on Sundays. I think people are in a more alert frame of
mind. So we need to be full of energy, to pick up the pace.

“Business and sport are particularly important on a Sunday. And news should be bright and forward-looking.”

Sands
has replaced Dominic Lawson, who was given his marching orders by chief
executive Murdoch MacLennan last Tuesday after 10 years in the job.

Much
of the current Sunday Telegraph team are Lawson appointees and one
insider said “his personality was very strongly felt at the paper”.

Describing
the new regime, Sands said: “I have warned against the phrase ‘quite
interesting’ to describe a story or a piece of writing.”

She added: “On The Sunday Telegraph I want the sense that we work hard and play hard to pervade the paper.”

There
has been speculation that Sands’ role will be to pursue a more feminine
lifestyle-type agenda at The Sunday Telegraph, to enable it to compete
better with The Mail on Sunday.

But one of her early changes is to include more coverage of the traditionally male preserve of mathematics.

She said: “I am interested by the resurgence of interest in maths, which is a traditional Telegraph strength.

Robert
Matthews, our columnist and fellow of the Royal Statistics Society,
will be putting all readers to the test, starting this Sunday.”

Mandrake
columnist Tim Walker has been an early casualty of the new regime.
Although he retains the diary column, he is stepping down as theatre
critic, just weeks after being given the additional job by former
editor Lawson.

He is being replaced by Rebecca Tyrrel.


Last week’s Press Gazette incorrectly stated that The Sunday Telegraph
was selling 723,770 when Dominic Lawson took over in 1995. In fact the
sale was 672,172 and rose to a peak of 889,861 under his editorship.
Over the past two years, the average sale has been approximately
700,000.

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