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Monday, August 01, 2005

UK: Sports to boost newspaper readership?

Last week top-class sports writer Paul Hayward quit the Telegraph for the Mail. As Press Gazette reports "Telegraph insiders believe Hayward has been offered £250,000 a year and also been given a six-figure golden hello to join Associated Newspapers. He declined to comment on the details of the deal but said the salary had been exaggerated." According to the Guardian the move "just goes to show how the back pages are selling newspapers these days". Most notably sport seems to be a powerful weapon in "appealing to younger readers, the elusive audience every editor - and advertiser - seeks".

Ben Clissit, sports editor of the Guardian claims: "When people see a football match on television they still want to read reports about the game afterwards. You can see that the rise in sport on TV has been paralleled by the rise in the amount of sports coverage in newspapers". Building on this link between TV and newspapers in sports Channel 4 will launch 'The Guardian Sports Show' in August. The programme will amongst others feature newspaper writers discussing topical sporting issues.

"I have watched a transformation over the past 10 years. Sport itself has got bigger and bigger, as has the audience interest, so papers have felt it necessary to respond" says Tim Hallissay, sports editor of the Times in the Guardian. Similar to this Paul Cooke, Managing Director of Independent Star Limited, Ireland stressed the importance of sport at the World Newspaper Congress one year ago : "One of the key planks of our editorial policy has been a focus on sport in line with the Irish public?s obsession with all types of sport. On a typical Monday, more than half the newspaper is devoted to sport."

Sources: The Guardian, Press Gazette, World Newspaper Congress 2004

Posted by Anna-Maria Mende on August 1, 2005 at 11:53 AM in h. Young readers / New readers, j. Staff changes | Permalink

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