Travel editor takes off

Travel Trade Gazette editor Phil Davies has quit after 19 years at the title as a radical overhaul is planned.

His departure comes five months after the arrival of new publisher Ben Greenish, who wants to give TTG a clearer identity to set it apart from its main rival, Travel Weekly.

Although Davies’s departure was said to be “amicable”, sources claim he was unhappy with the changes and the direction in which the magazine was moving. TTG has always styled itself as the more traditional, wellestablished “broadsheet”, while Reed’s Travel Weekly is seen as a more gossipy and light-hearted tabloid.

TTG has suffered from the downturn in the travel industry and the effects of September 11, the Iraq crisis and the SARS virus. The crisis resulted in a substantial fall in pagination. “Lots of companies do short, sharp, ads; they are not committing for a whole year,” an insider said.

Greenish rejected claims that TTG will adopt a “softer” approach to news in a bid to drive up advertising. “I don’t think we’ll get softer, I’m very keen to ensure editorial isn’t linked to the advertising search.”

He told Press Gazette: “Our desire is to differentiate TTG considerably from its main rival. It’s a big enough market for at least two weeklies, but not two tabloids. The past five years haven’t been easy. Editorially, it’s been a very strong time, but commercially it’s been tough. There have been a lot of management changes at CMPi and we are galvanising some very exciting plans for 2004. I think Phil thought, ‘I’m not sure I want to do this again’ and took the opportunity to say, ‘I might step out now’.”

Greenish said advertising had lifted “considerably” over the past four months and he is hoping to increase the focus on developing more supplements and conference programmes.

Davies, who has been TTG editor for five years, declined to comment.

By Ruth Addicott

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