'Post' editor Col Allan being sent to Australia to guide News Corp. papers there
New York Post editor-in-chief Col Allan is leaving the paper—temporarily at least.
The tabloid's top man is being shipped off to his native Australia to provide "extra editorial leadership" for News Corp's papers there, according to an internal company memo that was distributed this evening and obtained by Capital.
"It will be invaluable for our papers in Australia to have the benefit of his insight, expertise and talent," said News Corp. C.E.O. Robert Thomson, also an Australian, in the memo.
The Australian detail will last for two to three months, starting next Monday, and longtime News Corp. lieutenant Jesse Angelo will oversee the Post during that time.
All of this is sure to fuel speculation about Allan and Angelo's futures at the Post. Insiders have been wondering how much longer Allan will stay on as editor, and Angelo has long been seen as heir to the editorship.
He was named publisher of the Post, where he'd previously been one of Allan's main newsroom deputies, after News Corp. last November closed down its struggling iPad publication, The Daily, of which Angelo had served as editor.
But Angelo had been consolidating power at the Post even before then, having taken on a larger role in the paper's online strategy as early as last March. The paper is currently gearing up for a relaunch of its website.
Word of Allan's temporary reassignment comes less than a month after the corporate split that separated News Corp. papers like the Post from entertainment and television assets like Fox News, which now trade under a separate company called 21st Century Fox.
News Corp. Australia consists of dozens of papers, including The Australian, The Herald Sun and The Daily Telegraph, where Allan was once editor-in-chief. (He's been the Post's editor since 2001.) Recent News Corp. earnings reports have singled out the Australian titles for "lower advertising revenues."
The new News Corp. publishing entity has been given a fresh start with $2.6 billion in cash, and reorganizations have been occurring company-wide. The Post, which is beloved by News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch but said to lose tens of millions of dollars a year, for instance, recently reduced its newsroom headcount by 10 percent through buyouts and layoffs. The Wall Street Journal, another U.S. News Corp. paper, is also restructuring in the wake of the split.
Thomson's full memo on Allan is below:
I am writing to inform you of a temporary change we are undertaking to provide our Australian newspapers with additional editorial direction at a particularly challenging time.
I have asked Col Allan, Editor-in-Chief of the New York Post, to spend the next two or three months working with Kim Williams and providing extra editorial leadership for our papers, which are in the midst of an important period of transition in our key markets.
Col, who will be in our Australian offices next Monday, will return to his position as Editor-in-Chief of the New York Post following the assignment. In his temporary absence, Jesse Angelo, the Publisher (and a former Executive Editor) of the Post, will oversee our very talented journalistic team.
I would like to thank Col for taking on this project. It will be invaluable for our papers in Australia to have the benefit of his insight, expertise and talent. I am also grateful to Jesse for his willingness to accept additional responsibilities during this time. His talent and dedication are greatly appreciated.
The ability to utilize our assets globally and across platforms is a core strength of the new News Corp - we all have much to learn from each other.