A former regional press man who recently left the News of the World after 14 years is to launch his own freelance sports agency.
Ray Ryan, 40, who left the Sunday tabloid earlier this month, is teaming up with other former Fleet Street colleagues to launch the agency, which has the working title National Press Services.
Ray had been based in the North-East for the NoW for the past ten years but left the paper to form his own agency after a period of illness.
He has recruited a group of ex-rivals and former colleagues claiming there is a niche in the market for agencies to supply the nationals with hard hitting sports news stories.
Said Ray: “Although there are many good sports agencies out there who make a decent living from the national papers, it appears they have taken on a role of covering football games and press conferences.
“Although we will do that when requested, I believe there is a gap in the market for an agency to supply hard hitting stories and exclusives.
“I am in talks with three other journalists and between us we have excellent contacts who can provide the papers with some hard, decent copy. For legal reasons I can’t disclose who they are yet but the rest of Fleet Street will hopefully sit up, take notice and realise we mean serious business.
“We also have a relationship with a freelance of over 40 years experience in Fleet Street so we look like we could be branching out into news and showbiz as well.”
Ray joined the News of the World in 1995 after previously working for the South London Press, Match football magazine, the Peterborough Evening Telegraph and Hayters Sports agency.
He added: “I have received some good advice from some of the best operators in the business over the years. We can make this operation a success.”