Archive 2022

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Acclaimed photographer Tom Stoddart has died of cancer aged 67.

He began his career as a trainee on the Berwick Advertiser in 1970 before moving to London in 1978 to work for the Daily Express and other national newspapers and magazines.

During the 1980s Stoddart worked extensively for The Sunday Times and was in Beirut in 1982 when Israeli forces bombed Yasser Arafat’s besieged PLO base.

He was seriously injured in 1992 covering fighting in Bosnia, and in 1997 he was given access to Tony Blair’s historic general election campaign. 

He told the Evening Standard in 2019: “I have seen many awful things, but I have also seen a lot of fantastic and beautiful things.Humans do terrible things to each other, but there is also courage and humanity. That helps me keep it all in perspective…

“I’ve been very lucky in my career, with a ringside seat to history.”

The announcement of his death was made on his official Twitter account: “It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Tom after a brave fight against cancer. He felt blessed that he had found true happiness with Ailsa. The family kindly ask that their privacy be respected at this time.

“Tom touched the lives of so many as a brilliant, compassionate, courageous photographer whose legacy of work will continue to open the eyes for generations. He gave voice to those who did not have one and shone a light where there had been darkness.”

SPIKE DIVER writes: Tom’s sad death prompts me to reflect on how many photographers who worked for the Express in the 70s and 80s were, like him, really decent blokes. This was despite working in a high stress, competitive, dog-eat-dog environment where you were just one missed shutter click away from a fuck-up. 

In no particular order, let’s recall: Barry Gomer, John Rogers, Richard Young, Larry (Specsavers) Ellis, Dougie Morrison, Jack Kay and the doyen of them all, John Downing. This is not to diminish others not on the list, of course. Abrasive foot-in-the-door snappers, such as the late Harry Dempster, were equally as valuable. Just not so nice.

KIM WILLSHER: Last man down. Heartbroken to report that photographer Tom Stoddart has died. He was 67 and, unknown to many of us, had cancer. Tom was a brilliant photographer and his pictures speak for themselves, but he was also a truly good man.

He encouraged and mentored young photographers and photo-journalists and he would use the money from highly paid corporate or advertising work to fund trips to take photographs for charities to highlight suffering, often of children, in war zones or disasters or famines.

I remember when Tom smashed his shoulder after throwing himself over a wall in Bosnia under fire and falling heavily due to the weight of his camera bag. Around the same time but in a much less glamorous accident, I came back from Bosnia and fell down the stairs at home fracturing my back.

Both of us were off work for weeks, laid up under orders not to move but desperate to get back to Bosnia. Tom took this far more stoically than I did, joking that he now had a bullet-proof titanium replacement shoulder and was looking forward to setting off all the airport security machines.

When the former Express photographer John Downing was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Tom spent a lot of his own time and energy successfully organising John's dream of publishing a book of photographs.

He had a great wit and sense of humour and was very much loved by friends and even other photographers! This picture is of Danny McGrory, who died in 2007, John Downing, who died in 2020, and Tom, taken at my wedding reception in 2001. RIP.

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PAUL Dacre is to receive a payout of almost £2m, as  Mail executives share £33m in pay, bonuses and share awards this year – while staff brace for job cuts, The Guardian reported last night.

Dacre, who stood down as editor in 2018 and until earlier this month was chair and editor-in-chief of the paper’s parent company Associated Newspapers, is to receive the payout in December under one of Daily Mail and General Trust’s long-term incentive plans for senior management.

The vesting of the award of 168,851 shares, worth about £1.9m at DMGT’s current share price, relates to the hitting of performance targets in 2019. The award follows a payout of £1.5m given to Dacre last December.

Dacre’s payout is dwarfed by that of the top four directors at DMGT, which is in the process of being taken private by the Rothermere family after 90 years on the London Stock Exchange, who took home a combined £33m in salary and share awards in the year to the end of September.

Lord Rothermere, who chairs DMGT, pocketed £10.9m while Paul Zwillenberg, chief executive, took home £9.7m in salary, bonus and long-term incentive awards.

“The maximum long-term incentive payment reflects truly exceptional business performance and the executive directors’ significant contributions over the last three years,” said Rothermere, who is also chairman of DMGT’s remuneration committee.

The payouts come as the company conducts a “review of employee numbers” at its 2,400-strong consumer media division, with profitability being hit by rising energy and newsprint costs that are currently at a 25-year high. On Wednesday, Geordie Greig, the editor of the Daily Mail for the last three years since Dacre stood down, was ousted.

DMGT reported 3% year-on-year growth in revenues to £624m at its publishing business, which includes the Mail titles, MailOnline, the i and free sheet Metro as well as New Scientist magazine. Adjusted operating profits rose 7% to £60m.

Total advertising revenues grew an underlying 1% to £284m. While MailOnline grew strongly with digital revenues up 16% year-on-year, this was offset by a 15% fall in print advertising mostly due to Metro, which relies on commuters and has struggled since the onset of the pandemic.

Within this, across the flagship Mail businesses total advertising grew by an underlying 9% to £249m, including 16% growth from MailOnline and 1% growth in print advertising revenues. Digital advertising now accounts for 67% of total advertising across the combined Mail businesses.

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© 2005-2022 Alastair McIntyre