Key recruits at Times and FT

Two national newspaper editors have been making key changes to their teams.

Celebrating a lift in sales in April, Times editor Robert Thomson has gone on a cherry-picking spree, picking up experienced journalists from the Financial Times and The Guardian, along with a former Daily Mail staffer.

Over at the FT, editor Andrew Gowers has built a new political team from journalists previously working on other disciplines for the paper.

Thomson has recruited FT political correspondent Rosemary Bennett to become deputy political editor; FT property writer Anne Spackman to become property editor; The Guardian’s man in Belfast, David Sharrock, to be Madrid correspondent; and Tony Halpin, former Daily Mail education correspondent but now working for the United Nations in Armenia, to be education editor. Halpin joins in September and succeeds John O’Leary, who recently left to edit the Times Higher Education Supplement.

The new arrivals have resulted in deputy political editor Tom Baldwin being promoted to assistant editor. He moves back from Westminster to Wapping to write analytical and big narrative pieces.

Spackman, doyenne of property writers, joins immediately because she had no contract with the FT to work out. Bennett joins in time for the autumn party conference season. His departure from the FT lobby team after three years comes just after political editor Brian Groom, chief political correspondent Robert Shrimsley and political correspondent Andrew Parker have been promoted to other areas of the paper.

Gowers has filled the gap by bringing in chief Rome correspondent James Blitz as political editor, promoting political correspondent Cathy Newman to chief political correspondent and switching Jean Eaglesham and Chris Adams from the legal and employment beats to become political correspondents.

He has also made James Harding the paper’s Washington bureau chief. Currently media editor, Harding will be responsible for the bureau’s news coverage and will play a lead reporting role on politics and foreign affairs, working closely with the other members of his team.

By Jean Morgan

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