By Ruth Addicott
Formula 1 Magazine editor Matt Franey has quit less than six months after he was hired by Bernie Ecclestone.
Franey denied rumours of editorial differences over the direction of the magazine and said he had been offered an “opportunity of a lifetime”, thought to be on another motoring title. Ecclestone brought Franey in to relaunch the magazine and inject some glamour in a bid to seize market leadership. It had caused controversy under former editor Tom Rubython, who fell out with several big F1 teams. “I’ve had a fantastic six months, it has been great to work on but I’ve had an offer I couldn’t refuse,” Franey said. “The important thing is what I’ve done in effectively re-establishing the credibility of F1 Magazine in the paddock.”
Sources claim Ecclestone has a strong influence on the magazine. “Bernie wears the trousers in that organisation and there is talk about Bernie editing it and not appointing a new editor,” an insider said.
Franey declined to discuss his replacement but added: “Bernie and I sat down in December to come up with the February relaunch which I did. He is extremely forthright and hands-on, but one of the best things about working with him was that he effectively left me to it. I had absolute carte blanche.” Rival F1 Racing has had a shake-up after Ecclestone’s title poached grand prix editor Tom Clarkson. Dom Taylor joins as staff writer and John Lilley as chief sub. Former sub Suzanne Arnold becomes features editor of Autosport online and art editor Liz Wallace moves to Chrysler Freedom Magazine. Senior designer Alison Lane will take her place on F1 Racing.