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Murdoch taps Telegraph for new tech boss

Another brickie for the paywall

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Rupert Murdoch's News International is getting a new technology boss - pinched from rival paper, and website, the Telegraph.

Paul Cheesbrough will replace News Int's current CIO Andrew Hickey who is apparently looking for consultancy work.

Despite the glowing quotes from NI's chief executive Rebekah Brooks, some blamed Hickey - formerly of Accenture - for the mess made of its recent outsourcing deal, which left hacks and execs without email for 24 hours.

In fact our man on the inside said: "Much rejoicing today at Wapping further to your story of 9th April as the much-unloved Mr Hickey has been told to take gardening leave to concentrate on his 'consultancy work'. But will Accenture want him back? Looks like the Outsourcer has been outsourced!"

The move comes at an interesting time. The Telegraph had charged Cheesbrough and former deputy editor Will Lewis with creating new products and services to extend the paper's pull. Lewis has already left.

Meanwhile at his new employers, Cheesbrough will have to deal with moving all its websites behind paywalls.

Although the newly-relaunched the Times and the Sunday Times have been well received by many online observers, it will be hard to maintain much impact once they disappear behind a paywall.

Whether the company will get enough subscribers to make up for the shortfall in advertising revenue remains to be seen - currently the titles are losing about £200,000 a day, so even losing less could be seen as a victory of sorts.

Cheesbrough, previously head of digital media at the BBC, starts his new job in the autumn. His best known action at the Torygraph was ditching Microsoft Office in favour of Google apps. ®

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