Patience Wheatcroft has resigned as editor of the Sunday Telegraph following what are understood to have been “strategic differences” over the Telegraph Media Group’s online plans.
The move comes one year after Telegraph Group announced the integration of its web and print operations.
Daily Telegraph deputy editor Ian MacGregor has been appointed editor of the Sunday. Will Lewis becomes editor-in-chief across both the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday title.
Tony Gallagher, who has been executive head of news at the Daily Telegraph since November 2006, now becomes deputy editor. He was prevously assistant news editor at the Daily Mail.
Press Gazette understands that Wheatcroft did not believe that her staff should be integrated with the online operation as extensively as journalists on the daily title have been.
Telegraph Media Group bosses are believed to have thought that the fact around a quarter of the company’s journalists were not fully engaged in the online project was not a good use of resources.
Announcing the change, Telegraph Media Group chief executive Murdoch MacLennan said: “It is a year since our move to Victoria began. We are now clearly seeing the success of that strategy with strong circulation figures for our papers andd record numbers of unique users to our website. Today’s editorial appointments will ensure we build on that success and maintain our position as the UK’s leading quality multimedia business.”
He added: “I’d like to thank Patience very much for her contribution to the Sunday Telegraph. We wish her well for the future.”
Wheatcroft, 55, was appointed editor of the Sunday Telegraph on 7 March 2006. She was tasked with delivering a harder news agenda after her predecessor Sarah Sands’s feature-led approach achieved varying success.
Among her changes was the scrapping of columnists AN Wilson and Griff Rhys Jones.
Before her tenure at the Sunday Telegraph, she was City editor of the Times from 1997 and wrote an influential business column. She has completed stints on the business sections of the Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail and Sunday Times and has edited trade magazine Retail Week.
In 2001 she won the Winscott Senior Journalist of the Year award and in 2003 was named the London Press Club Business Journalist of the Year.
Wheatcroft’s predecessor Sarah Sands was herself only in the job for eight months after leaving following alleged divergence of differences between her and then editor-in-chief John Bryant.
Sands was a former deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph who had been with the Telegraph Group for 11 years. Her predecessor at the Sunday Telegraph Dominic Lawson edited the title for a decade.
Wheatcroft, who was 54 at the time of her appointment, said: ‘The Sunday Telegraph is a great newspaper and I am very excited by the challenge of taking over the leadership at this very opportune moment of a paper that stands for so many of the things I believe in. I have had a wonderful time at the Times but after nine years feel ready to hand over to my fine team there.”