Private Frazer’s Doomed Magazines

October 30, 2009

From our PPA correspondent

Filed under: PPA — privatefraser @ 6:42 pm

Another email from our person on the inside regarding the sweetness and light that currently surrounds ‘our’ industry body…

“The announcement of the impending departure of Chief Operating Officer Sarah Tunstall after barely 15 months in the job gives us another glimpse into the increasingly surreal world of the PPA. Not that Ms Tunstall’s departure was unexpected, given her role as wing-man to former PPA Top Gun Jonathan Shephard. (He, you will recall, was shot down in flames last month following 18 months of re-structuring PPA in the image of his former domicile, The Independent Schools Council.) Even the wily Tunstall would have found it hard to distance herself from Shephard’s disastrous tenure, so her move to pastures new is hardly a surprise. No, the real ‘Take My Breath Away’ moment comes in reading the PPA press release announcing her timely deployment of the ejector seat. A curious ‘bigging up’ of her new employer is followed by a swooning eulogy to the Sainted Sarah, making one begin to wonder if PPA hasn’t shifted into some kind of parallel universe, where whitewash is the common currency and post-rationalisation the dominant orthodoxy

“Sarah has worked tirelessly on a broad range of PPA activities” gushes the press release, failing to mention that much of that tireless activity was engaged in working with Shephard to divest PPA of its seasoned industry-savvy staff and replace them with old chums from the ISC.

“Her greatest achievement was recruiting the team to run the FIPP World magazine Congress”, an event, it might be added, that took up a huge chunk of PPA’s time for almost a year, to the detriment of the organisation’s core activities, and has left in its wake a greatly expanded event team responsible for a reduced number of PPA events.

And finally, the gloriously risible “Her dedication to all things PPA has been legendary”. Legendary? Really? Some might feel that 15 months is barely enough time to get ones knees under the table, let alone become the stuff of legend.

Meanwhile, a new terror haunts senior figures throughout the publishing industry – that the next phone call might be from a recruitment consultant inviting them to apply for the role of PPA Chief Executive.  Poisoned chalice, anyone?”


For those of you wanting to get some background on this, I commend the following earlier postings to your attention:

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