Seiken's 'transformation of Telegraph Media Group' begins with major editorial shake-up - Press Gazette

Seiken's 'transformation of Telegraph Media Group' begins with major editorial shake-up

Telegraph editor-in-chief Jason Seiken has announced a series of major editorial changes and promotions aimed at “driving the transformation of Telegraph Media Group”.
The moves come five months after his arrival and a month after Tony Gallagher was sacked as Daily Telegraph editor. They follow a major consultation process involving all staff.
Gallagher's replacements have been confirmed: Chris Evans is print editor (Monday-Friday) and Ian MacGregor is print editor for Saturday and Sunday.
Seiken said: “As I have consistently emphasised, we cannot be great digitally if we are not great in print. Across their many combined years of service at The Telegraph, both Chris and Ian have demonstrated their ability to consistently produce quality newspapers. In addition, both will play a critical role in the digital transformation.”
Deputy editor Benedict Brogan has been moved back to writing full-time as associate editor (politics) and three new deputy editors have been created:
  • Rob Winnett, formerly head of news, runs the newsdesk for both print and digital
  • Mark Skipworth, formerly executive editor
  • Liz Hunt, formerly associate editor
The other key changes are as follows (quotes taken from Seiken's letter to staff):
Katy Day becomes director of digital content:
In her new role, Kate will lead a cluster of critical initiatives: portal, mobile/iPad, and interactive. The heads of those teams will report to her. Kate's innate understanding of digital media and interfaces will serve us well as she and her teams develop innovative ways to present new content, and to adapt existing stories for new.
Former Telegraph head of sport Ben Clissitt becomes director of visual journalism: 
Video has become a major opportunity across multiple fronts – audience acquisition, engagement, storytelling and monetisation. The video department and picture desks will report to Ben."
Richard Ellis becomes director, editorial transformation and talent:
Richard Ellis, who has led a number of initiatives during the transition period, will fully take over operations and budget across both print and dgital. His responsibilities will include handling all proposals and requests related to budget and staffing (new headcount, backfilling, remuneration). Richard will also take on new duties leading editorial talent acquisition, both for print and digital.
 I've asked him as well to head a project to look at improvements to the newsroom configuration (watch for a new survey asking for your input on what works, what doesn’t, and what could be better)."
Dan Hickey is made general manager of lifestyle:
He was head of digital products at Meredith Corporation, a leading US media company with an audience of more than 90 million women where he helped to grow the business into a Top 40 US web property. More recently, on the entrepreneurial side, he was Senior Vice President for Digital Products and Marketing at a health start-up.”
Gregg Stewart is made director of audience development:
Gregg Stewart, a familiar face to many of you since arriving as a consultant is director of audience development, chiefly responsible for the acquisition, retention and growth of new audiences.  This is a new role and it is integral to our success moving forward. Gregg and his team will work closely across all editorial departments, as well as with the commercial, product, marketing and technology departments to infuse growth strategies and tactics into all of our work.”
Seiken concluded his letter to staff: 
With these latest appointments and promotions, I am confident that we have the core team in place to set TMG's course for an innovative and prosperous future.

I thank each of you for your enthusiasm and support that is coming through not only in my conversations with you, but in the overwhelmingly positive response to the surveys and to the large number of you who signed up for new initiatives such as Telegraph's Got Talent [an in-house search for new video presenters] and the editorial advisory board.

The Telegraph has a history of which to be proud – a great name for quality, first-rate reporting, informative comment and award-winning journalism. The Telegraph is Britain’s best selling quality daily newspaper. We must build on this reputation across all platforms in the digital world, attracting new audiences and new commercial partners.

On a more personal note, I know that this has not been an easy transition at TMG. There have been surprises and changes. Even though we write every day about a fast-changing world, change is always unsettling. On the other hand, change can unleash our best and most creative sides. It usually has for me; I moved my family 3,671 miles to unleash mine again.

My hope, and 100 percent of my effort, is to create the conditions where you can find the best in yourselves and do your best work. So now we begin…

Warm regards, Jason Seiken.”



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette