Kyle in shock exit from Express as cuts loom

Kyle: will work year’s notice

Andy Kyle, the Mail on Sunday’s former picture editor who moved to the Daily and Sunday Expresses as assistant editor (pictures) only in September, resigned this week.

He is to work out a year’s notice but sources say he is quitting partly in protest at new budget cuts of 25 per cent being proposed at Ludgate House by deputy managing director Martin Ellice. The Expresses already operate on a third of the resources allotted to their big rivals, the Mails.

Kyle, who has also been the Daily Mail’s picture editor, was recruited to Express Newspapers last year by Jason Fraser, then Richard Desmond’s executive editor. Fraser also left after four months in the job.

Kyle refused to give a reason for his sudden decision. He told Press Gazette: "I have resigned and I am now working out my one year’s notice. I thoroughly enjoyed working in the newsroom for Chris [Williams, the editor] and Nicky [Briggs, deputy editor]. The newsdesk and picture desk are staffed by a brilliant professional bunch of people and I have enjoyed myself immensely."

Areas of every editorial department at the Expresses are expected to make cuts in a drive to get a 30 per cent reduction in the overall budget, staff have been told. Journalists have protested to Ellice that this will be impossible given the current budget levels and will have a serious effect on the paper.

The belt-tightening comes on top of last spring’s shedding of 145 jobs at the papers and the Daily Star.

In a separate move, Desmond’s newspapers are also attempting to scale back in other areas. Picture libraries and agencies were contacted before Christmas and told the com-pany was no longer willing to pay the going rate – around £80 – for stock pictures and offering, in some cases, £35 instead. Several of the agencies have been in individual negotiation since.

Mike Selby, editorial director of Rex Features, said: "We have been approached and we have rejected the Express group’s proposed cut in rates. The proposals are completely unviable from our point of view. As far as we know most other agencies which have been approached have taken a similar line."

A Camera Press spokesman said the company was protesting the suggestion Express Newspapers should pay less than the normal reproduction fee.


By Jean Morgan

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