The changes are coming thick and fast at The Daily Telegraph following the replacement of Campbell Reid with David Penberthy as the new editor.

On
Friday, News Ltd’s big tough Sydney boss Peter Wylie announced that
Roger Coombs had been ousted as managing editor of the two Telegraphs after a nine-year stint in the job. If anyone could write the book on Col Allan and the crazy Daily Telegraph boys club it is the laconic Roger.

However,
in true News Ltd style the man who knows where the tabloid bodies are
buried is not being sacked, rather he will become “associate editor”
and perform the following role, according to Wylie: “Roger will be
responsible for legal matters affecting the newspaper including issues
of defamation and contempt, and Press Council complaints. In addition
to his new legal focus, Roger will continue to work as leader writer,
and play a staff development role in helping to develop staff writing
skills.”

Any search of the Media Watch archive confirms
that Coombs has had many such issues to deal with over the years and he
has a nice touch with editorials so it is good that he will also retain
that role.

His replacement as managing editor is lanky Michael Wilkins, one of the ambitious Daily Telegraph
backbenchers carrying an “assistant editor” title who will have an
important role to play given David Penberthy’s utter greenness when it
comes to management.

Special projects is usually seen as a
euphemism for being shafted but Wylie announced the promotion on Friday
and declared that “Michael has been responsible for the excellent
special projects produced by The Daily Telegraph ”.

For a man who only found out he was the new Tele
editor two weeks ago, Penberthy has hit the ground running. A couple of
days ago he ruffled the feathers of television reporter Marcus Casey by
putting him back on the general reporting round.

Peter Fray

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