HSBC UK’s “fantastic” contribution to region’s wealth

Since relocating its head office to Birmingham, HSBC UK has generated £540 million of wealth for the West Midlands, according to a new report by the West Midlands Growth Company

The Growth Company’s economic impact report found that of the total wealth created, £390 million was generated directly by the Birmingham head office and HSBC UK’s other operations across the West Midlands.

Meanwhile, nearly £133 million worth of GVA across the region will have been generated indirectly through the supply chain linked to the bank’s services and employees, demonstrating the cross-sector ripple effect of their investment.

Twenty-six other financial services companies have also invested in the West Midlands since the bank’s new head office was announced, creating an additional 800 new jobs.

Investing £200million in the ten-storey facility in Centenary Square, HSBC UK relocated 1,000 jobs from across its UK and international operations.

Ian Stuart, chief executive of HSBC UK, which has sponsored Birmingham Press Club for the last three years, said: “Birmingham was a natural choice for us thanks to its central location and established business eco-system that includes a critical mass of high-quality talent. A year on, it is fantastic to see the positive contribution our head office has made to the local economy and the ripple effect HSBC UK is having not just in Birmingham but also across the wider region.

“I’m confident that increasing numbers of financial and professional services firms will follow suit to become a part of this regional success story,” he added.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The West Midlands is the UK’s growth capital, with a regional economy that is growing faster than anywhere else in the country. What is fuelling this demand are major companies just like HSBC and the waves of migrating professionals choosing the region over London, as they do not have to compromise on either quality of life or a prosperous career.”

Meanwhile, ITG, a global technology-led marketing business with headquarters in Birmingham, is set to launch its new marketing operations suite later this year, after securing a multi-million pound finance package from HSBC UK and Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

 

Cloud-based and powered by an advanced Digital Asset Management (DAM) and workflow system, ITG’s new marketing suite, which will be called Canopy, will be at the forefront of a rapidly changing marketing landscape, and its innovative technologies aim to drive forward the next phase of marketing automation.

 

Mark Lovett, Chief Financial Officer of ITG, commented: “In this day and age, technology is the number one catalyst for change, particularly when it comes to developing innovative marketing campaigns that reach consumers anytime, anywhere, any channel. ITG has strategically developed its unique marketing suite and business proposition with this in mind, and we’re confident that Canopy’s automated technologies will be a differentiator in the marketplace. Stand-by for its launch later this year.”



A-Level results time: facing the media

A leading Birmingham-based independent sixth-form college is providing full media facilities on Wednesday and Thursday (14 and 15 August) – so that journalists and photographers will be able to quiz students on their career hopes and ambitions.

Students at Mander Portman Woodward (MPW), which is based in Greenfield Crescent, Edgbaston, will be opening their A-level results envelopes live before the cameras before answering media questions about their A-Level/university/career hopes, the demands that universities put upon students to achieve a place, the need for preparation for university interview and the pressures to succeed in the world today.

Mark Shingleton (pictured), College Principal, said: “At MPW we start by offering a wide range of A level and GCSE courses, giving students the opportunity of taking subjects that are going to interest them the most. We then pride ourselves on making sure that we bring out the absolute best in the students we work with.  

“Our goal is to develop confidence, maturity, knowledge and skills in all of our students, viewing them as individuals with their own unique talents. 

“When students leave MPW Birmingham they do so with well-grounded study skills and the self-discipline needed to thrive at university and the world of work,” said Mark.

Ninety-eight Percent of MPW students get onto a university course of their choice, while 80 per cent of retake students are offered places at top Russell Group universities.

Media representatives wishing to attend are asked to contact Peter Vezey (petervpr@btinternet.com) on 07702 915122.





Editor is off to Uni

Keith Perry, who has edited the Coventry Telegraph for the last four-and-a-half years, is leaving in the autumn to become head of communications (news and content) at Coventry University.


Keith Perry 2.jpeg

Keith (pictured) also edits the Telegraph’s sister website, Coventry Live, which now achieves 11 million page views per month.

Before taking up his role as editor, Keith was sports editor at the Telegraph. He has also worked at the Birmingham Mail, Derby Telegraph Leicester Mercury and the Birmingham-based Sunday Mercury.

Marc Reeves, Midlands editor-in-chief for Reach plc, said: “I’m immensely sad to see Keith go. He has proven himself to be a bold and forward thinking editor whose passion and belief in his team is matched only by the passion he feels for the city he has served so well.”

“It has been an honour and a privilege to do this job and it will always be a source of great pride to me that the team here has achieved so much,”commented Keith.  “Coventry is a wonderful city and I am delighted that I have been able to secure another fantastic opportunity here with Coventry University.”

His replacement will be made in due course.

Meanwhile, the hotel which is being built on the site of the former Coventry Telegraph headquarters in Corporation Street is set to open in 2020 – in good time to celebrate the city’s status as UK City of Culture in 2021. To be known as the Telegraph Hotel, it will have 88 bedrooms, a restaurant in a glazed courtyard, meeting and conferencing facilities, as well as a rooftop bar overlooking Belgrade Square.”

As part of the development plans, 1,270 student flats will be built at the rear of the site.



HSBC UK APPRENTICES GRADUATE IN BIRMINGHAM FOR THE FIRST TIME

HSBC UK’s new head office in Birmingham has hosted its first apprenticeship graduation - with 40 apprentices being joined for the celebrations by Ian Stuart, the bank’s chief executive officer and Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands.


The HSBC UK Apprenticeship Programme was launched in 2011 in association with the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), and was the first of its kind run by a major UK bank.  Learners study for a minimum of 12 months and work towards a range of practical and knowledge-based qualifications, with apprenticeships running in HSBC UK’s branch network, contact centres and operational areas across the UK. 


Celebrating  the achievements   of the apprentices   who have completed the   programme, Ian Stuart said: “Apprenticeships play an important role in HSBC UK’s recruitment strategy and have a vitally important role in opening up a career in financial services to those people who may not have gone to college or university. It’s fantastic to see so many bright and enthusiastic apprentices go on to exciting roles in the bank.”


Andy Street said: “Apprenticeships are a key part of creating a stronger and fairer economy where people of all ages and backgrounds can fulfil their potential through work. They are a great way for people to earn while they learn and get vital work experience. Creating opportunities and better jobs for local people is important for an inclusive growth agenda and it’s great to see so many new apprentices graduate through this HSBC UK programme.”


HSBC UK, which sponsors Birmingham Press Club, also has a current account proposition available for all apprentices, on an accredited scheme at Level 2 or above, enabling one million apprentices1 to enjoy the same benefits as those studying a full time degree at a university or college. 


Pic:  HSBC UK Apprenticeship graduate Megan Burrow with CEO Ian Stuart and Andy Street, Mayor of West Midlands.



New network launch

Following the successful re-introduction of the Midlands Media Student Awards, Birmingham Press Club is now supporting the newly-formed Young Journalists Network.

The group’s next meeting is on Thursday, 18 July at The Old Crown, Digbeth, with a 7 pm start.

The  Network is open to young and aspiring media and communications professionals,providing its members with an important link with the Midlands media industry, through its association with the Birmingham Press Club.

 

Press Club member Lewis Warner, a former Staffordshire University media student now a journalist at ITV Central, who is Network organiser, said: “Our monthly get togethers enable young journalists to talk and debate where the industry is heading and how best to embrace new media.”

 

Journalists from local newspapers, radio and television attended the Network’s launch event in June at The Old Crown in Digbeth. 


Press Club chairman Llewela Bailey commented: “Establishing links with media students and young journalists is a key factor in the continuing existence of the Press Club. We are delighted that such an initiative as the Network group is proving so popular.” 

For updates on the latest events, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter:

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Boris’ “lightbulb moment” in Wolverhampton

I was once Boris Johnson's boss - sort of - at a crucial turning point in the life of the man who may well be our next Prime Minister.

In the mid-80s a distinguished-looking, floppy-haired character with a cut-glass public school accent turned up in the newsroom of the Wolverhampton Express and Star.

Boris was a Times trainee and the no-nonsense E&S was considered a suitable provincial training ground for aspiring Fleet Street reporters. At the time - in the mid-to-late 80s - I was a district news editor on the multi-editioned evening newspaper, which sold around 250,000 copies a night and had offices throughout the West Midlands.

They were heady times for newspapers in the pre-internet days. In a fast-moving environment of hourly deadlines and endless print demands,Boris had to sink or swim just like any other new recruit.


I recall a slightly shambling, friendly, endearingly unkempt character who wore a brown overcoat and a constant semi-grin. Boris sat directly behind me amongst the banks of reporters to the rear of the newsdesk in the HQ of the E&S.

Wolverhampton proved his introduction to the real world of regional journalism - the courts, the councils, the newsroom laughs - so much from a bygone era. But life in the Black Country proved to be a lightbulb moment for the old Etonian with his distinctive mop of hair.

In an interview with the New York Times a few years ago, the blond bombshell revealed his experience reporting in Wolverhampton had made him who he is today.

Asked if he could remember the moment he knew he was a Conservative, Boris replied: "When I was a 22-or-23-year-old reporter in a place called Wolverhampton. I got impatient with some of the stuff I saw going on about damp and mould, about who is ultimately responsible for improving the ventilation in people's houses.


"I felt that people were being infantilised and made dependent by the system and that the local Labour politicians had no interest in sorting it out; were content to harvest these people's votes without improving their lives. It was the spores of damp, of mould forming on the walls of Wolverhampton."

And in an interview with the Independent, Boris recalls of his days in Wolverhampton: "My mistakes are too numerous to list in full, but one stands out that still makes me hang my head in shame.

"It was when I was working for the Wolverhampton Express and Star, and I wrote a piece about unemployment in Wolverhampton. It was the late 1980s, when unemployment was still pretty severe, and a lot of people were living in wretched conditions. I had discovered a lawnmower shop that needed sales assistants, but no-one was applying for the job. I couldn't understand it and wrote this irate comment piece about people scrounging benefits.

"I'd been in Wolverhampton only about a month, and it was unsurpassed right-wing drivel. I suppose it was intellectually justified, but nonetheless it was condescending, and I felt afterwards like an Oxbridge graduate who had just arrived and was declaring everyone shirkers. I very much regret that."

I recall little of Boris’ politics at the time as my days were largely spent on the phone to reporters in Stafford, Cannock, Lichfield and Tamworth, while my Etonian colleague was being ferried around the West Midlands by hardened hacks showing him the ropes.


An old friend, former Walsall hack Steve Castle, recalls Boris being "absolutely fascinated" by the inner workings of an industrial tribunal. Another former colleague, the late, great Andy Donkersley, took Boris off to crown court to see justice at first hand.

Andy and Boris had seemingly little in common, apart from plenty of hair and maverick personalities, but I recall they got on rather well.

According to a biography published in 2006, Boris lodged with a woman called Brenda in Bilston, home of steel factories, Banks's bitter and pork scratchings - a far cry from the gilded worlds of Eton and Oxford.

It's now well over 30 years since I shared a newsroom with the man who today stands on the very doorstep of 10, Downing Street. The world has moved on at a remarkable rate in the intervening three decades - and so has Boris.

Working With the Community

Amazon’s headline sponsorship of the 2019 Midlands Media Student Awards, organised by Birmingham Press Club, is typical of its on-going involvement in community programmes and support for leading charities.


“We are very much concerned with helping young people start on a skilled career path, so supporting the media student awards was a natural fit,” said Neil Williams, Community Relations Manager, Amazon UK Services Ltd.


This year the awards were revived after a break of more than two years with major support also being shown by universities and colleagues across the East and West Midlands – and entries being received from hundreds of next-generation journalists, broadcasters and photographers.


Neil said: ”The awards were a tremendous opportunity to work with the Birmingham Press Club to both encourage aspiring journalists and recognise the best emerging talent. It’s great to see the world’s oldest press club looking to the future with the Midlands Media Students’ Awards which we’re delighted to support.”


Amazon employs several thousand people in a variety of roles in its operations network in the Midlands – and wherever it operates has a policy of investing in the surrounding community. The aim of its“Amazon in the Community” programme is to help children and young people reach their potential by creating a positive learning environment; developing essential skills in literacy and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM); and helping them find and develop a skilled career.


The programme includes:

  • Creating a positive learning environment. Amazon wants more children to have an environment in which they can develop and learn. To meet this ambition, Amazon works with Magic Breakfast to fund one million breakfasts for more than 5,000 students a year in 77 schools across the UK.

  • Developing essential skills. Amazon strives to help young children acquire the skills they need to excel in the digital world, including literacy, maths and technology. Amazon supports Beanstalk, a literacy charity, to improve reading in schools by funding reading volunteers who support children who need extra help.

  • Inspiring a skilled career. Amazon helps young people start on a skilled career path. The Amazon Web Services re:Start programme provides free training and job placements to 1,000 young adults as well as military veterans and their spouses. Amazon has created the Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary at Edinburgh University, the University of Cambridge and King’s College London, which gives talented lower-income female students the opportunity to study computer sciences at a leading university. Amazon also works with Enactus to inspire entrepreneurship in universities by supporting social innovation projects set up by students.

ABSEILLING EVENT RAISES £20K FOR THE MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE ASSOCIATION

Ninety-nine colleagues from across HSBC UK threw caution to the wind - abseiling down the 50 metre central atrium of the bank’s new head office in Birmingham raising over £20,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

 

The fund-raising was on behalf of Mike Lowe, who works in the bank’s Financial Crime team, following his diagnosis with the disease in May 2018. The MND Association is the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning.

 

Mike, who showed showed incredible spirit by joining the 50 metre abseil, being joined by his wife Jo and one of his MND Nurses, Jackie, whose role is part-funded by the MND Association, said: “Thanks to the MND Association I feel better informed about my ailment, I’m able to navigate the minefield of support services and continue to lead a (reasonably) full life. Without the generosity of supporters and their donations little of this would be possible and for that I am truly grateful.”

 

Linda Allen, Director of Fundraising at the MND Association said: “It has been so amazing to see the colleagues at HSBC UK coming together to help support people affected by MND like Mike. Without support like this from HSBC UK, the MND Association simply would not be able to fund research to find a cure, campaign and raise awareness of MND and provide its vital support services. Together we are making a real difference for people affected by this devastating disease.”

 

Allan Clare, Head of Financial Crime Compliance, HSBC UK and Mike’s manager said: “I have been truly humbled by the support for the abseil and all the other fundraising activities that have taken place across HSBC UK. Colleagues from across the business have been raising awareness of this awful disease, as well as money for the care and support sufferers like Mike desperately need. The number of colleagues taking part is testament to the friend and colleague that Mike is.”

 



Soccer writer to kick off new career

Award-winning Express & Star journalist Tim Spiers is off to pastures new after more than ten years with the Wolverhampton-based newspaper.

Tim, pictured here after receiving the 2018 Sports Journalist of the Year Trophy at the Birmingham Press Club-organised Midlands Media Awards, told his followers on Twitter: “Delighted to say I’m still going to be covering Wolves full-time in a very exciting new venture.”

Media website HTFP understands that Tim, together with James Pearce from the Liverpool Echo and Phil Hay from the Yorkshire Evening Post will all be taking up new roles at US-owned The Athletic, which eventually could create more than 50 new journalist jobs in the UK.

The Athletic was originally launched in Chicago three years ago to cover the city’s sports teams. It has since expanded its paywall operation to hire journalists based in 50 cities across North America.

It is believed The Athletic’s new UK edition will initially cover football, mainly Premier League clubs, and focus on content such as “long reads,” features and opinions rather than match reports, transfer stories or player ratings.

The Athletic’s American edition, which charges $9.99 (£7.86) a month, currently offers dedicated pages for six English football clubs – Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. It is expected that similar rates in the UK will allow subscribers access to all content from here and over the Atlantic.



Launch of “exciting” business website

The Birmingham Post’s website has been discontinued and replaced with a new nationwide business news platform from its parent company, Reach plc. But the publishers of the Post say that its print edition, which ten years ago switched from a daily to a weekly, will not be affected by the change.


Figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) suggest that between January and December of last year the Post had an average circulation per issue of 2,545.


Reach plc, formerly Trinity Mirror, launched its new digital brand, BusinessLive this month (June 2019) with stories being written by business writers from its regional titles around the country.


The new site is being edited by Alistair Houghton, executive business editor at the Liverpool Echo, while journalist Tamlyn Jones (pictured) will lead its Birmingham coverage.


The Post reported that the “exciting new business website” would bring together business news from Greater Birmingham, the West Midlands and across the UK, offering the best coverage of local business markets and key business sectors nationally, from manufacturing to property and “everything in between.”


It promised that BusinessLive – an “inspiring, informed and inquisitive” platform - would shine a spotlight on the entrepreneurs, stars of the future and the small firms that were the backbone of the economy, with its Birmingham team continuing to bring to its audience detailed, consistent and informed business news.


Reach plc’s print products, the Birmingham Mail, Birmingham Post and Sunday Mercury will continue to provide coverage of the city’s news, politics, regional affairs and sport.




Studio Secrets Exposed

The secrets of the sound-room – including how to make the rustling of disregarded cassette tapes sound more like the sea than the sea itself – were laid bare when Birmingham Press Club members visited the studios at BBC Birmingham.

Adrian Kibbler.jpeg


Tour guides John Wiley and Emma O’Brien delivered a fascinating insight into preparations for recording The Archers – the world’s oldest-running radio soap – and took guests on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Midlands Today and BBC WM studios.


For Press Club president Bob Warman and club chairman Llewela Bailey – who for many years co-hosted ITV Central News - there was a “deja vu” moment as they were “re-united” on the sofa; albeit the one normally occupied by either Mary Rhodes or Nick Owen on Midlands Today!


HSBC UK's Penny Thorp.jpeg

Thanks to the delights of broadcasting technology, guests were also able to pose, Shefali Oza-style, as on-screen weather presenters  - and enjoyed a headphones moment behind the microphones of BBC WM, as well as experiencing an interactive exhibition in the BBC Blue Room.



Photography: Adrian Kibbler



Standard kicks off Sajid’s campaign

Prime Minister-wannabe Sajid Javid has used his local newspaper, the Bromsgrove Standard, to announce his bid to succeed Theresa May.


The Home Secretary (pictured) exclusively revealed his candidacy for the Tory leadership, saying it was “fitting” that his constituents were the first to know.


The Standard was contacted by Bromsgrove MP Mr Javid’s office and subsequently broke the news on its website.

Speaking to media website HTFP, Standard editor Tristan Harris said: “I received the call from Sajid’s office saying as his constituents were the ones who had enabled him to become an MP, it was only right that they be the first to know he would be putting himself forward to be leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party. We were delighted Sajid had chosen to give the Standard his statement exclusively and to be able put the news out there first on our website.


“We have a great relationship with the MP, having officially backed and promoted his annual jobs fair, pensioners’ fair and the yearly schools debating competition which I’ve been on the judging panel of ever since he introduced it.”

He added: “We wish him well with his leadership challenge. Sajid becoming Prime Minister would be a great way to put Bromsgrove on the map.

“It shows the importance and key role local journalism plays in communities and it’s fantastic our town’s MP, current Home Secretary and possibly the future Prime Minister also supports that view “



Free Bikes Launch Backed by HSBC UK

A programme that will help hundreds of children from across Birmingham onto two wheels by providing free bikes and equipment has been launched by HSBC UK and British Cycling, alongside The Active Wellbeing Society.

The programme aims to reach children within the top ten per cent most disadvantaged communities of the city, to ensure that, regardless of their background, children have access to a bike and can embrace the joys and health benefits of cycling. 

 

The initiative comes hot on the heels of the successful Velo Birmingham and Midlands event where 17,000 people rode up to 100 miles, and in advance of the Birmingham Lets Ride event that will see a 4km route around Birmingham City.

 

The Big Birmingham Bikes programme is being rolled out to children aged 15 or under. A Bikeability session was run for pupils and recipients of the first tranche of bikes being given out.

 

The scheme, which is funded by HSBC UK and British Cycling, is delivered by The Active Wellbeing Society and will provide hundreds of children aged 15 or under in and around Birmingham with the basics to get them onto two wheels; a bike, helmet and a pump.

 

Shanaze Reade, Olympian and cycling world champion and West Midlands Cycling and Walking Ambassador, seen here at the launch with two recipients of Big Birmingham Bikes, said: “Initiatives like this are fundamental to ensuring that children – regardless of who they are or where they come from - are given the opportunity to learn how to cycle. It’s easy to forget that a lot of kids simply don’t have access to a bike and schemes like this help to break down these barriers and ensure that cycling is something that can be enjoyed by all, no matter what your background.

 

“There are so many benefits to riding a bike – from physical and mental health, to the environment – and by providing hundreds of free bikes and equipment to children across the city, HSBC UK and British Cycling are contributing towards a healthier, fitter and greener nation which is something that should be applauded.”

 

Luke Harper, HSBC UK’s Head of the British Cycling partnership said: “Our partnership with British Cycling is particularly focused on grassroots participation, encouraging and supporting communities, colleagues and customers to get onto two wheels, contributing to greener, fitter, healthier Britain. This fantastic scheme that will make a real difference to youngsters in disadvantaged communities in Birmingham who might not have the opportunity to own a bike of their own.”

 

Nick Hayes, Head of Commercial Partnerships at British Cycling, said: “Our partnership with HSBC UK intends to make a real impact on society and ultimately create a shift in culture towards a greener, fitter healthier nation. This initiative in Birmingham will ensure that 500 bikes are given to children at schools and communities in some of the most deprived areas of the city and is a shining example of those values coming to life.”

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 “In a year where Yorkshire is set to host the UK’s biggest sporting event of the year – the UCI Road World Championships – we want to ensure that every child in Britain, regardless of their background, is given the opportunity to ride a bike. And this programme is just one of the ways that we will make this happen.”

 Karen Creavin, Chief Executive at The Active Wellbeing Society said "The Active Wellbeing Society has established networks of community cycle collaboration in the most deprived communities throughout Birmingham, working hard to build a pathway for children and families to get into cycling. We aim to improve the health and wellbeing of children, young people and families by removing the barriers that prevent them being active and we aim to particularly encourage uptake from the communities in most need. We are delighted to work with HSBC UK and British Cycling to bring this vital project to life, and we look forward to lots more people in our city enjoying the freedom and joy of riding a bike".

 

Bike Banks will be free to use for anyone aged 15 and under (with parent or guardian’s consent).

 

Since HSBC UK – sponsor of Birmingham Press Club - became lead partner to British Cycling in 2017, the partnership has made a real difference to grassroots cycling, including:

 

-        Over 200,000 people taking part in our closed road, mass participation events in some of Britain’s biggest cities over the last two years (110,000 in 2017 and 113,500 in 2018). An even bigger schedule of events is planned for 2019.

 

-        British Cycling has opened a number of new HSBC UK Disability Hubs, including Middlesbrough, Stourport and Clyde, taking the total number of such facilities up to 12. HSBC UK Disability Hubs give people with disabilities the opportunity to take part in coach-led sessions, which develop their skills and confidence on a bike.

 

-        Work to narrow the traditional gender gap in cycling has also accelerated, with the flagship HSBC UK Breeze programme - a ride for women led by women - going from strength to strength - in 2018, over 300 new Breeze Champions were trained, bringing the total number to over 1,260.

 

-        The HSBC UK Breeze programme has attracted nearly 250,000 participants since its inception eight years ago. Across the entire suite of recreational programmes, 45.2% of participants are now women.

 

-        The HSBC UK Ready Set Ride initiative equips parents and teachers with the necessary resources to teach kids to ride.

 

 Photo credit: Ian Tennant



Journalists facing online abuse

Appalling online abuse of journalists is now becoming the “new normal,” according to Coventry Telegraph editor Keith Perry. He hit out at social media users after former Telegraph chief reporter Simon Gilbert, who now works as a political reporter for the BBC, received “vile and disgusting” abuse from football supporters after running an exclusive about their club.

Simon broke a story about Sisu, which owns Coventry City Football Club, going to the European Commission with a legal complaint over the sale of the Ricoh Arena stadium to rugby club Wasps.

Wasps subsequently pulled out of talks to allow City to continue to play at the stadium, saying they had previously been unaware of the complaint, meaning the football club may have to play home matches away from Coventry next season.

After the story’s publication, Simon revealed on Twitter he had received abuse from some fans of City, nicknamed the Sky Blues. In an editorial in defence of Simon, Keith (pictured) wrote: “The very thought of the Sky Blues leaving this city again is awful and we all know the damage it could cause to the club and the city. Many will be in an unforgiving mood after having their hopes raised and then dashed.


“City fans are emotionally invested in their club in a way no set of accounts could ever record so a level of anger is to be expected but the temptation to shoot the messenger is ridiculous and misplaced. Worse than that a tiny, vocal minority have barged reasonable debate out of the way to launch vile and disgusting abuse at the journalist who broke the story.

“Our former Telegraph colleague Simon Gilbert is clearly a good journalist, he was our chief reporter before joining the BBC, but the notion that he managed to find out about the EC complaint before Wasps did is just laughable. The idea that any media outlet has ruined the talks that we all thought were leading to a happy resolution is simply ludicrous.”

He added: “That it has now led to the vicious abuse of a journalist doing his best to keep fans informed is incredibly sad.”

Keith then turned his attention to the “increased hostility towards journalists” in general, including those currently working at the Telegraph. He wrote: “Our journalists now spend a large chunk of their working lives in the social media arena. We interact with our audience, bringing a new level of transparency to what we do as we in turn seek transparency from those who hold power.

“It helps us put you at the heart of what we do and we appreciate that you can give us a real-world perspective that can sometimes be lost in a media bubble. But abuse of reporters, some of it truly appalling, is fast becoming the new normal. If we allow that happen, what’s next?”



No More “Up with the Lark” for presenter Ed

He’s been hosting the breakfast show on Heart West Midlands for the last 18 years – but now at last

there’s no more getting up at 4.30 in the morning for radio presenter Ed James.

Instead, as a result of shake-up plans by Global to launch UK-wide national breakfast shows on

Capital, Heart and Smooth radio, Ed – and his co-presenter Gemma Hill – will be moving to the Drive

Time slot.

Ed, immediate-past chairman of Birmingham Press Club, said:  “As of Monday 3 June I hope everyone

will be listening to us on their way home from work or school.

“I’ve been hosting Heart Breakfast for 18 years and have had the best time. But I’m genuinely looking

forward to not getting up at 4.30 am!

“I feel lucky to be doing what I think is the best job in the world and I am really excited for the future

of Heart.”

Meanwhile, Ed has been busy cementing the future of specialist marketing company, the HDY

Agency, which he co-founded last July with marketer Angel Gaskell (pictured here). “Some massive

things are happening – and I’ll finally be launching a secret project I’ve been working on for eight

years,” said Ed.

Based in Digbeth, HDY’s 12-strong team specialises in developing creative campaigns and has just

been taken on board as the lead creative and marketing partner of Poundland.com. Other clients include

Resorts World Birmingham, World Skills UK, Damson Homes and Saga. Team members include

industry experts within digital and email marketing, design, brand development, PR and social media.

 Heart’s brand-new breakfast show will, from 3 June, be hosted by Jamie Theakston and

Amanda Holden. Global founder Ashley Tabor said: “This is a huge moment for Heart and

Global as we launch the largest morning show in commercial radio.”