The two national newspaper editors sacked by Trinity Mirror earlier this week were reportedly plotting to take over the company and sell off its regional titles.
Richard Wallace was dramatically axed after eight years as editor of the Daily Mirror on Wednesday along with Sunday Mirror news chief Tina Weaver.
Trinity said their jobs had been made redundant as part of a restructure that saw the two titles moving to a seven-day operation with a combined newsroom.
But according to a report in the Daily Telegraph, the pair had been secretly planning to buy the company, with backing from an un-named wealthy figure.
The alleged plot, which Trinity Mirror has today described as “complete nonsense,” was revealed in a report by the Telegraph’s media editor, Katherine Rushton.
In her piece, Katherine said the plans had still been “at an early stage” and that it was not known whether they also involved selling off the group’s Scottish titles.
She claimed the buy-out plot shed new light on the sackings while the Telegraph’s editor, Tony Gallagher, tweeted: “We have unravelled the mystery of why talented Tina Weaver and Richard Wallace were so strangely sacked by the Mirror.”
A Trinity Mirror spokesman said today: “We had no knowledge of this until we saw it on the Telegraph’s website.
“The inference that Richard Wallace and Tina Weaver were let go because of this is complete nonsense.”
In a statement earlier this week the company announced that Lloyd Embley had been appointed editor of the Daily Mirror and Sunday Mirror with responsibility for the new seven-day operation.
“As a consequence of these changes the roles of editor Daily Mirror and editor Sunday Mirror have been made redundant and therefore Richard Wallace and Tina Weaver will leave the company with immediate effect,” it said.
Trinity Mirror was formed from a merger of Mirror Group Newspapers and Trinity Newspapers in the late 1990s.
Orginally based in Liverpool, Trinity Newspapers had expanded rapidly in the mid-1990s after taking over the former Thomson Regional Newspapers, which had previously owned the Western Mail, Newcastle Evening Chronicle and several other big regional dailies.
The media pundit and former Mirror editor Roy Greenslade has consistently argued that there is no synergy between the national and regional arms and that the company should be broken up, but today he appeared to pour cold water on the Wallace-Weaver plot claim.
“All my soundings suggest this was not the case. The pair were fired in order to make way for the introduction of a seven-day operation and as a cost-cutting measure,” he wrote.