TV Times editor-in-chief Peter Genower has stepped down and been replaced by Mike Hollingsworth, editor of sister IPC title What’s On TV.
Genower said he hoped to remain in journalism and had agreed to stand in as acting editor of What’s On TV until a new editor is found.
The unexpected job-swap, which was agreed, announced and put into place within days, is said to have left many TV Times staff apprehensive about their own future, particularly ahead of next week’s ABC results.
The move comes within weeks of the abrupt departure of Woman’s Own editor Terry Tavner.
Both editors suffered a sharp decline in sales and are believed to have come under pressure from above to adhere to market research.
"Peter has been extremely popular and is considered to be a very perceptive and able editor, but it is not dissimilar to what happened on Woman’s Own, where a well-respected, capable and well-liked editor is replaced for no particular reason," one source said.
"There was always some battle with market researchers and publishers but there were no great showdowns. It appears to be change for change’s sake." Genower, who launched both Chat and What’s On TV for IPC, admitted TV Times was in a difficult position. As a mid-market title, he said sales were being squeezed by Radio Times at one end of the market and the cheaper titles at the other.
Although TV Times boasts an ABC of 636,951, sales fell by almost 10 per cent in the latest results.
Radio Times also showed a decline but sells 1.2 million.
"I have had three very good years. We have made some fantastic changes, brought in a new look and a modern feel and it’s time for a fresh pair of legs," he said.
Hollingsworth has worked for What’s On TV – the UK’s biggest-
selling paid-for title – since its launch in 1991 when Genower recruited him to be his deputy. Hollingsworth also spent 10 years on TV Times before it was bought by IPC and worked for Bauer and Screen International.
He said he had no plans to make any changes to the existing team on TV Times. "There are bound to be some changes in terms of the look. I have some ideas, but it is very much an open book," he said.
By Ruth Addicott