Richard Delevan sacked from The Sunday Tribune

As Damien has already pointed out, Richard Delevan has been sacked from his post at The Sunday Tribune, where he had been Business Editor for some time.

The alleged reason for the sacking centres around an article Delevan wrote for yesterday’s Tribune, where he highlighted the case of a property auctioneer who could not sell his home. Apparently Ken MacDonald, of Hooke & MacDonald, took issue with Delevan’s work and the Tribune’s bosses agreed.

MacDonald’s intriguing dilemma was first highlighted by A Random Walk, although tellingly their treatment of the issue is no longer available.

The timing of Delevan’s forced departure is far from perfect for him, if ever such a time exists, and perhaps the complaint following the MacDonald article was seen internally as the last straw.

Delevan is currently the “star” of another Phoenix article, this time focusing on accusations of bullying made by Ken Griffin. Griffin moved earlier this year to The Tribune from The Sunday Business Post where he had worked as a Sub-Editor and Journalist for somewhere in the region of two years.

The article in Phoenix states that Griffin had to be given an office separate to Delevan due to the situation and that the newspaper had brought in an external bullying expert to investigate the claims made. He was to report his findings in the near future.

As with most articles in Phoenix, it is completely unattributed and without quotes so knowing the source of this leak is next to impossible. If Griffin had been moved as a result of clashes with Delevan then it can be certain that many in the office knew there was something going on, however rumours are abound that the leak actually came from a senior figure in the newspaper rather than another journalist. If this is the case it is clear that Delevan, who has amassed a reputation for being abrasive and to-the-point, had failed to endeared himself to some in important positions and as such the writing for today’s turn of events may well have been on the wall for some time.

What is perhaps most interesting about the Phoenix article, which naturally would have been written before the sacking, is its reference to a possible move by Delevan to the position of Online Editor at the Tribune. Delevan is well known for his progressive outlook in terms of online content and has been critical of The Tribune’s website on many occasions – it is likely that he expressed this view to management too and urged them to fix it on many occasions.

If it is to be believed that the Phoenix article was a leak from a senior figure in the newspaper, this reference becomes far more important than the throw-away line given to it would suggest. Was this someone holding out some bait to encourage Delevan to start playing nice and toeing the company line or was it a taunt made to imply that he was about to be gifted the job but the damage done by the alleged bullying had cost him it?

We’ll likely never know now.

(Disclosure: Ken Griffin was working in The Sunday Business Post at the same time that I was doing regular shift-work there. He and I worked together on two occasions on features for the newspaper – one of which was on the CAO and another on environmentally friendly businesses. I have only spoken to Griffin once since then – in relation to one of these two articles – and Griffin has not been contacted by myself in relation to this issue, nor has he been in contact with me.)

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