Telegraph Media Group said his departure was part of an editorial restructure as the business “moves to the next phase of its digital transformation”.
But disbelieving staff were said to be angry at the loss of an “inspirational” editor who had won broad admiration for his style of leadership. He masterminded the paper’s investigation into MPs’ expenses.
Staff took to Twitter to express disappointment, a number saying he was the best editor they had worked for. They gave him a traditional newspaper send-off by banging their desks as he left the building.
Gallagher will not be directly replaced. After four years at the helm, his duties will be divided between Chris Evans, assistant editor (news), who becomes acting print editor of the Monday to Friday editions. The Sunday Telegraph’s editor Ian MacGregor becomes the acting weekend print editor of the Saturday and Sunday editions.
The group’s chief executive Murdoch MacLennan said: “Tony has done an excellent job for the newspaper.”
However, it is thought he paid the price for focusing too much on the print editions at the expense of the company’s digital ambitions. MacLennan said: “To protect the company’s future we need rapidly to embrace and adapt to the new digital world in which our customers live.”
Evans and MacGregor will report directly to Jason Seiken, chief content officer and editor-in-chief, who will make a presentation to the staff today on the strategy.
Seiken said: “We must reinvent the way we work and move beyond simply putting news and information online.”