Contact book update

Your update on new launches, new hires and developments in the world of print, broadcast and online media

Victor Mallet has been appointed editor of the Financial Times, Asia, with print and online responsibilities. He is currently chief Asia correspondent for the FT  in Asia, based in Hong Kong, and replaces John Ridding, who is moving to London in June to become the paper’s CEO.

Separately, Peter Jenkins has been appointed ICN (international companies news) editor at the FT in London. He was the paper’s Frankfurt correspondent, and replaces Peter Pearse, now the Sunday news editor. The editor of the Financial Times is Lionel Barber.

Fiona Cowood – previously senior features writer at B magazine – has joined Bliss as features editor. Bliss has also hired Louise Bennett, also formerly of B, as celebrity editor. The editor of Bliss is Lisa Smosarski.

The Times international edition editor John Mair is to oversee a US edition, launching on 6 June. The 64-page daily paper will contain repackaged and re-edited information from the UK version, and will be available by subscription and on newsstands in New York and New Jersey. Editor of The Times is Robert Thompson.

The Observer has taken on Rob Sharp as arts and media correspondent, covering for Vanessa Thorpe who is on maternity leave until 23 November. He will be responsible for gathering arts and media news, and joins from The Architect’s Journal, where he was a reporter. Roger Alton is the editor of The Observer.

The Wall Street Journal Europe has hired Joellen Perry as European Central Bank reporter. Based in Frankfurt, she will write about the bank’s policies and other issues affecting the economy across the European Union, and
other institutions such as the Bank of England. WSJE is edited by Michael Williams. See Media Analysis, p14.

Production company Radar TV is producing a new ten-part show, hosted by Christian O’Connell, to be aired on Sky One on Sunday evenings from 16 July. The series, called Christian O’Connell’s Sunday Service, will be filmed with a live audience and will feature celebrities and humour.

The series’ producer is Danny Carvalho.

A reshuffle at ITV News sees UK editor John Ray appointed as the programme’s first China correspondent. Scottish correspondent Martin Geissler becomes Africa correspondent, based in Johannesburg. Meanwhile John Irvine, who had been reporting from Bangkok, is to become Washington correspondent, replacing Robert Moore, now Europe correspondent.

Betting magazine InsideEdge is launching a digital e-zine, InsideEdge Live, on 8 June. It will be sent out as an attachment to a database of those who subscribe to InsideEdge and other Dennis Publishing titles. It will go out during the World Cup, with up-to-the-minute football news and betting tips. The hard-copy magazine has also relaunched, placing a greater emphasis on poker. The editor is Alun Bowden.

Drift, an online title for surfers, has launched at, with Howard Swanwick as editor. Content will include travel tales, competitions, environmental news, surfing tutorials and photography. Readers will also be able to listen to music and watch videos.

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