/ 31 May 2011

Wanted: Another New Age editor

The Gupta-owned New Age newspaper will be looking for its third editor in one year.

Editor-in-chief Henry Jeffreys is expected to announce his resignation this week.

The New Age is upon us. The Gupta brothers and co. debut the newest addition to South Africa’s daily newspaper milieu. The Mail & Guardian was there to get an advance peek.

On Tuesday morning New Age boss Atul Gupta tweeted: “Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them, which I am developing with great team.”

According to New Age insiders Jeffreys will return to Cape Town, where his home is, and help to build the Cape Town bureau and continue to write for the paper, which is owned by the Gupta family, known for their close links with President Jacob Zuma.

Veteran Cape Town journalist Ryland Fisher is touted as Jeffreys’s possible successor.

Fisher — along with fellow Cape Town-based journalist Raymond Joseph — was hired earlier this year as a consultant to help streamline the company’s operations, an insider told the Mail & Guardian.

‘Fisher might get the top job’
“They [Fisher and Joseph] wasted no time in imposing themselves. Fisher might get the top job depending on family and relocation issues,” the insider said.

This will be the second time the six-month old newspaper is losing its editor.

Shortly before its launch last year five senior editors — including the editor-in-chief — resigned. Insiders say they left because the New Age managers insisted on publishing the first edition while the editors felt they were not yet ready.

The Gupta family were in the news again last week with a court case that may declare the infamous deal — in which the family and Zuma’s son, Duduzane, were expected to become cash-flush — void.

Atul Gupta lamented the “unfair” media reports on the matter. He tweeted: “I thought unfair media attacks were over, along comes latest’s ST with more innuendo. Suppose I should get ready for more madness.”

An announcement about Jeffreys’s resignation is expected later on Tuesday.