A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

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Geoff Chandler
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A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:24 pm

Listening to Radio 4 this morning and they were going on about Big Brother.

Richard Desmond who bought it from CH4 also bought the Daily Express.

They then went on about how ruthless he is and how he streamlines costs adding...

"He fired the papers chess correspondent who lived in South America earning £60,000 a year."

I just heard again. It's here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b013851v

slide the bar along to 1.46.00 and hear it for yourself.

Who on earth was this and is it true?

Justin Hadi

Re: A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

Post by Justin Hadi » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:52 pm

Who knows? Desmond bought the express in 2000 so if it was true it would be the chess correspondent at that time.

Justin Hadi

Re: A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

Post by Justin Hadi » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:02 pm

There is a way of finding out - The ukpressonline website has every edition of the daily express from war times forward.

http://www.ukpressonline.co.uk/ukpresso ... /index.jsp

But it'll cost you a fiver.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:11 pm

Luke McShane is (or was) the current Chess Correspondent. Whether he started in 2000/2001 or earlier, I don't recall.

I wonder how much he who isn't named costs The Times?

A Google search suggests he (Desmond) has made this point before.

Phil Makepeace
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Re: A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

Post by Phil Makepeace » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:31 pm

Right, I'll do one for the Metro for £15k/year. I may or may not be able to be haggled down to 10.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:33 pm

yes, they might not want to go above £10 ........

Phil Makepeace
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Re: A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

Post by Phil Makepeace » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:40 pm

Frankly, given how much of a damp unopinionated digest the Metro is, a chess corner might go a long way to putting the game in the public consciousness.

When I commute during term time, I find myself reading every square inch just for something to do. Even the celeb gossip bits. No doubt the same goes for a lot of commuters - the readership of the column would therefore be enormous. Of course, this is exactly why the discontinuation of the printed Evening Standard column was a tragedy.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:48 pm

it is also on here but no mention of £60,000

http://www.beehivecity.com/newspapers/t ... aken-over/

Here:

http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/36326 ... wish-faith


The quote from Desmond himself is:

"When two companies come together, there will be efficiencies which need to be made. When we
bought Express Newspapers, for instance, we were paying £50k for a chess correspondent in Latin America."

Radio 4 have added £10,000 to the salary.

Paul Cooksey

Re: A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

Post by Paul Cooksey » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:54 pm

This is intriguing. My first thought for an expensive chess player based in Latin America was Bent Larsen. It might be worth £5 for his columns.

On the other hand I see an obit for Campomanes indicating he wrote for the Daily Express. Probably not this one, and probably not worth £5 :)

Richard Bates
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Re: A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

Post by Richard Bates » Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:17 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:Luke McShane is (or was) the current Chess Correspondent. Whether he started in 2000/2001 or earlier, I don't recall.

I wonder how much he who isn't named costs The Times?

A Google search suggests he (Desmond) has made this point before.
Someone told me about 10 years ago that the Times chess column was worth about £50k a year. Although it is usually presumed that that goes towards the costs of a couple of people. However i can't remember where i heard it so cannot offer much in argument for its accuracy or whether it was a well informed figure, or just a ballpark estimate. On the rare occasion when i have read the Spectator i have been quite impressed (surprised?) by the quality of the column in there.

To be fair, it is probably not that surprising that some of the more longstanding chess correspondents could be on pretty substantial sums. In part it would be a hangover from a time when the chess correspondent was actually a pretty important position, even in geo-political terms. Probably encompassing more than just producing a column on the games pages.

And, whilst it is very easy for people to think that they would be prepared to do the job for a substantially lower sum, and in a way that was a lot more interesting and better at promoting the game, i suspect that the contractual relationships between correspondent (as opposed perhaps to freelance columnist) and papers probably don't make their replacement (if desired) a simple matter in employment law. Although somewhat easier if you want to ditch the chess column completely.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:04 pm

Luke McShane was/is the chess columnist for the Sunday Express. Once at Hastings we were phoned by the sub-editor seeking to get Luke's column precisely correct. I said he was in play, could I help? 'No, he's most particular about getting his column correct'. Luke was 12 at the time and I presume the youngest-ever columnist in any newspaper anywhere.

A columnist, a well-known chessplayer, for the Daily Express who was paid £60,000 a year. The surprise is that is all he received. Bill Hartston wrote Beachcomber and other material. The business about Latin America is nonsense if it referred to him.

Writing 6 columns a week as Ray in the Times, Jon in the Independent and Malcolm in the Daily Telegraph do is a considerable undertaking. Why shouldn't they be paid the going rate, whatever that is?

Stewart Reuben

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Re: A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

Post by John Upham » Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:13 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:Why shouldn't they be paid the going rate, whatever that is?
If the published column features fresh, original material of high quality then I agree.
If one continually experiences a déjà vu moment when reading it then I am less inclined to agree.
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
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John Moore
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Re: A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

Post by John Moore » Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:56 pm

I might be agreeing with Mr Upham again! Frankly, why should you be paid anything for recycling stuff.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

Post by Stewart Reuben » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:49 pm

Discuss that with any schoolteacher, many historians or most journalists much of the time.

I am trying to remember when I last had a truly original thought and I've written 14 books.

Stewart Reuben

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Gerard Killoran
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Re: A £60,000 a year Chess Correspondent?

Post by Gerard Killoran » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:38 pm

From today's Guardian coverage of Desmond's evidence to the Leveson Inquiry.
He is describing examples of Express extravagance, including a "chess correspondent who lived in Latin America". That, presumably, is a joke.

"The trouble is with media, they are living things - if you're a baked bean manufacturer, I'm sure it is the same - you have to love these things," he says. "It's the same with Channel 5. We bought that ...they [RTL] had managed to lose £50m a year, we were able to turn that into a profit just through simple housekeeping."

He says a lot of media groups don't understand it's a business. "They don't understand there's more to life than the chess correspondent based in Latin America," he adds.
Isn't it a crime to lie on oath?

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