The Times? media editor looks to have been forced out of the paper after breaking the news that Murdoch stablemate The Sun would be dropping topless models on Page 3.
Although ultimately accurate, Alex Spence?s story prompted a backlash from The Sun, which couldn?t resist ?trolling? campaigners ? and the rest of the media ? with one final day of boobs. The move was seen as undermining months of careful groundwork and expectation management by top Murdoch execs:
?FURTHER to recent reports in all other media outlets, we would like to clarify that on Page 3 of today?s Sun is a picture of Nicole, 22, from Bournemouth.
?We would like to apologise on behalf of the print and broadcast journalists who have spent the last two days talking and writing about us.
Spence?s last byline was on 30 January (ten days after the Page 3 row) and he has now deleted his Twitter account. A spokesperson for The Times paper told the Press Gazette:
?We can confirm that Alex Spence has left the paper. We will advertise the position in due course.
Meanwhile Roy Greenslade reports:
?An inside source suggested it was his decision to leave the paper. but a second source countered that he felt he had no option but to leave under such circumstances.
In contrast, The Sun?s head of PR managed to keep his job after tweeting the picture of bare breasted ?Nicole from Bournemouth? at various women ? including Sky News presenter Kay Burley and Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman.