MEDIA: Observer business cranked up by Kane

The Observer newspaper has continued to boost its business team by

draining talent from rival newspaper Sunday Business.

Richard Wachman, who is currently Sunday Business City editor, will hold

the same title at The Observer when he joins, probably in July. Wachman

replaces Paul Farrelly, who is leaving to stand as a Labour candidate in

the election.

Conal Walsh, former Sunday Business news and investigations reporter,

has already made the move. He joined The Observer this month as business

investigations reporter.

Both Wachman and Walsh will report to business editor Frank Kane - who

himself moved from Sunday Business, where he had been news editor, two

months ago (PRWeek, 9 March).

The latest moves mark an increased emphasis on business in The Observer,

sparked by Kane's appointment. Having previously been on The Sunday

Times' Insight investigations team, he is keen to broaden the paper's

scope for business investigation.

Sarah Ryle has moved from the newsdesk to offer a consumer slant to City

coverage, while Jamie Doward remains deputy business editor.

Nils Pratley, the editor of Sunday Business, was not available for

comment on how his title would respond to the departures.

Current Sunday Business economics editor Martin Essex ruled himself out

of the running for Wachman's job. But colleagues such as chief reporter

Mark Watts or media editor Jon Rees could be in the frame.

Sunday Business, which is seen as appealing to readers who work for City

institutions, relaunched its second section, Sunday Investor, to cover a

more general audience. Its glossy magazine, Sunday Business and

Pleasure, is aimed at younger executives and edited by Topaz Amoore,

formerly of the Express.

Sunday Business's latest ABC was 58,000 - down from a peak of 76,000

last year.

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