The Grey Cardigan 18.08.06

GROWN MEN wept with frustration on the subs' desk of the Evening Beast as another cracking live story passed us by on Thursday morning.

In the good old days, we'd have been banging editions out left, right and centre, with updates and pictures from our local airport, vox pops with frustrated local passengers, reaction from local Muslim groups and an interview with a local retired Colonel who used to be one of the Funny Squad. (You may notice a theme there.)

Instead, hopelessly hamstrung by a single overnight edition, we suffered journalistic impotence as we watched Sky News and got on with laying out the following day's motors' supplement. This is no longer a job for newspapermen.

Meanwhile poor Alan Kirby, editor of the Coventry Evening Telegraph, takes to the pages of Press Gazette to deny that turning his title into a morning newspaper in October has anything at all to do with cost-cutting. As if.

Mr Kirby argues that he must provide a quality newspaper at a time people want to buy it, and in that he is quite correct. But, if cost-saving isn't the issue, that doesn't prevent him from turning out a morning edition as well as a couple of useful updated editions later in the day. It's called breaking news, something his colleagues up the road in Birmingham were happily boasting about exploiting last week. Sadly, Mr Kirby also tries to justify the decision by arguing that his current newspaper rarely carries genuine same-day news. Well whose fucking fault is that, we are bound to ask?

SO, ANOTHER of Northcliffe's big beasts has become extinct with the news that Graham Glen, editor of the Nottingham Evening Post, is to retire next month. That just leaves the one then… Glen has won countless awards and produced many fine journalists, who are now plying their trade in editorial management positions elsewhere in the group.

He is also known to be a ferocious fighter for the editorial standards of his newspaper — in other words, he's "difficult".

Group managing director Michael Pelosi is quoted as saying: "We are grateful to Graham for his major contribution to Northcliffe over the last 18 years."

Those fluent in Beancounterspeak may read that as: "Thank God we've got rid of the awkward Scottish bugger. Now let's have a proper look at those budgets…"

NICE TO see The Guardian bringing on young talent. Its obituary of ‘Fiery' Fred Trueman, the professional Yorkshireman and host of the much-loved Indoor League TV programme who could also bowl a bit, was penned by a certain John Arlott. Promising stuff it was, too.

SNAPPERS ARE always complaining. The light is crap, it's raining, I've been out here for five hours you know, no-one loves us and we don't care… A prime example of how to wind up the massed ranks of monkeys was on show in The Mail on Sunday, which dispatched the splendid Caroline Graham to Deadhorse, Alaska, site of the rotting BP pipeline.

Eight pars in and she's committed a classic faux pas.

"My photographer and I endure a nine-hour wait…" My photographer and I? Oh dear, oh dear. That's really going to go down well. In a desperate bid to repair the damage, I must point out that photographer in question was Mr Rupert Thorpe, whose five-picture contribution to the double-page spread was duly acknowledged with the traditional sideways-on 6pt caps.

IT IS well known that Paddy Harveson, communications director for the Prince of Wales, loathes the red-top tabloids to the point that the representative of one such title was actually banned from the farewell celebrations when the ex-FT hack left his previous post at Manchester United.

But one can only wonder who gave Paddy career advice. Given his apparent distaste for dealing with the "gutter press", was working with the royals and the most newsworthy Premiership football club in the country really a wise choice?

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