The Benefit Of Heinz Sight

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Sir Anth Tony O’Reilly

Does my IN&M look big in this?

Chris Whitfield, a former senior editor with Independent News & Media writes:

Tony O’Reilly was angry… very angry. At the time – a few years ago – he was the proprietor of Independent News & Media, which owned the Cape Argus. I was editor of the Argus.

‘Sir Anthony’, as the Irish media baron preferred to be called, had let it be known that he was not happy about a photograph we had used in the newspaper that day. The story was something or other about his plans for Independent Newspapers.

The picture, a smallish mugshot, was of him. He didn’t like it because he looked fat. O’Reilly had apparently shared his anger with the company’s CEO, Tony Howard, with such vigour that the latter felt it necessary to phone me, late at night, and tell me to remove all the pictures from our digital library in which the chairman looked fat.

I worked for the Irish for the more than 20 years, during which they owned the company and, as far as editorial interference was concerned, that was about it.

Watch Tony O’Reilly in ‘The Real Deal’ here.

The sad tale of Independent Media (Chris Whitfield, The Media Online)

Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

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6 thoughts on “The Benefit Of Heinz Sight

  1. ljr

    I find this merely amusing rather than a cause for outrage like the posters here. the line I took from this was the last one quoted above. the only editorial interference was to do with removing pictures where he looked fat. I don’t like pictures of me looking fat either (I used to have a terrible by-line pic on a column I had once and it grated every time I saw it). Better a bit of vanity like that than the clear interference we see in recent apologies in the Sindo, some relating to articles that appeared years ago. O’Reilly was never referred to in the Irish papers as Sir. It was always Dr. A.J.F. O’Reilly – pretentious also I fully agree but at least the doctorate was academic not honorary like that of a certain paper packaging mogul. having a knighthood in the UK is seen as a good thing (to the English) so fair enough if he wanted it referred to in the UK newspapers. I’d be much happier if the O’Reilly family was still in control of the Indo group.

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