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Big-name sports journalists facing cutbacks at Mail on Sunday

European Football Writer of the Year Rob Draper and BJA winner Nick Harris look set to leave.

By Dominic Ponsford

Four senior journalists look set to be leaving the Mail on Sunday in the latest round of cutbacks at the Mail titles.

Press Gazette understands that Mail on Sunday sports editor Mike Richards, chief football correspondent Rob Draper, chief sports news correspondent Nick Harris and a sports desk manager were all notified on Thursday that their roles are set to be cut.

Rob Draper, who has been at the Mail on Sunday for 27 years, was named football reporter of the year at the last Sports Journalists Association awards and also picked up the prize for social media journalism. In May he was named European Football Writer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association.

Nick Harris was shortlisted in the 2022 British Journalism Awards for work that included an investigation into the £10m+ fees taken by football agents for negotiating player transfers.

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Mail on Sunday deputy sports editor Robert Dineen left the paper earlier this year, meaning the paper now has no dedicated sports editor.

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The sports teams of the Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail were merged into a seven-day operation nine years ago, meaning all the journalists being cut already worked across sister titles.

Press Gazette understands that although the journalists affected in the latest cutbacks have job titles specific to the Mail on Sunday, they all contribute across other days of the week as well.

The Mail on Sunday sport redundancies are the latest in a series of cutbacks across the Mail titles. In March, Mail Newspapers editor-in-chief Ted Verity said the daily and Sunday titles were to be brought closer together as part of a drive to focus on the digital operation. These latest changes are understood to be a continuation of that process.

Verity said the consolidation was the “second part” of changes announced in September 2022, when he told staff the print Mail and web-only Mail Online would stop each running their own separate versions of stories.

In May Press Gazette reported that the latest Mail on Sunday departures had included news editor Ben Felsenburg, business editor Neil Craven, consumer affairs and technology editor Dan Jones and medical editor Stephen Adams.

Similar changes have taken place at sister title Metro where print and digital are now working much more closely together. In March, Metro editor Ted Young stepped down and Metro.co.uk editor Deborah Arthurs had the print edition added to her responsibilities. Other departures at Metro included deputy news editor Joel Taylor, news editor Sarah Getty, production chief Paul Hudson and features editor Sharon Lougher.

Mail publisher DMGT has been contacted for comment.

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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