Times reshuffles team to cope with compact

Expansion: Brock, left, and Thomson ring the changes at The Times

The Times signalled its commitment to the tabloid-sized version of the newspaper this week by appointing home editor Graham Paterson to run it.

Paterson has been with The Times since 1989 and has been features editor, foreign editor and comment editor. Chief reporter Ian Cobain has been promoted to home editor.

The move comes a week after The Times expanded its tabloid print run to 260,000 and began circulating it outside the M25.

The Times has a subbing team of about 20 producing the compact version. According to a source at the paper, they get the first edition copy at 8.30pm and have until just 10.15pm to reformat it.

Managing editor George Brock said: “What’s happened to the paper’s circulation since we launched the compact edition has shown us that we were needlessly nervous about reader reaction to offering both formats.

“It’s also clear that the compact’s appeal extends beyond commuters.”

He added: “In Graham Paterson we have an immensely experienced editor who will be able to bring his skills to bear on steering the compact to further success.”

The ABC figures for December, the first complete month that the tabloid Times has been on sale, show it up 2.29 per cent month-on-month. This has been seen as a success because circulations normally slump in December.

According to The Times, the total compact sale for December was 54,121.

The Independent’s total sale was down month-on-month in December, but up 12.85 per cent on nondiscounted sales compared with December 2002.

In other senior changes to The Times editorial team, features editor Anne Barrowclough and news editor Michael Harvey have swapped posts.

Assistant news editor Richard Duce has been promoted to deputy news editor.

Editor Robert Thomson said: “The Times has an extraordinarily talented team of editors and reporters who break more stories than all other newspapers combined. ” The launch of the compact Times has given us an opportunity to expand our news editing team. I fear for our competitors.”


By Dominic Ponsford

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