John Teal- a loss to the newspaper industry

As media reporters remain glued to their screens awaiting Twitter’s next fart, one significant story has fallen under the radar this week – the exit of Mail Newspapers ad director John Teal.

Teal has been with Mail Newspapers 25 years, nigh on man and boy, a stretch that has no doubt encompassed much graft and determination, but undoubtedly ennobled him into the top tier of media tradesman.

If you praised him in this manner, he would probably look at you blankly and then issue you with an expletive; probably the same expletive he has fired off to Aegis, WPP and anyone else who tried to get one over on Mail Newspapers over the years.

I’ve only known Teal for a few years, but have always admired him.

He has run a steady ship at the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday, presiding over more than £100m in annual ad revenues, making the career-defining jump from running one to two newspaper sales teams, and, perhaps most admirably, suffering the fate of years of reporting into Guy Zitter, Mail Newspapers managing director.

Reporting to Zitter requires a man of strong constitution.

And Teal has always carried out his job this with good humour, from what I have been told. He may mock his digital credentials (he can be uncompromisingly old school in manner) but he has played an active part in Mail Online.

I once visited Teal at Mail Newspaper’s plush Derry Street offices, where we met for a catch-up, sitting at a table behind which hung a large painting of a karate expert high-kicking an assailant.  I said “unusual picture John?”. He said “It’s the guy we send to Dom Williams (head of press at Carat) when he is not playing ball.”

There have been loads of funny stories I have heard over the years about John, from him, but more often from someone else who has had the pleasure of his company.

This may sound like a bit like a paean to Teal, so for the sake of not wanting to sound sycophantic, he does have his bad points. Namely, that he never gave Media Week any good stories about his rivals.

But seriously, John Teal will be missed by Media Week and no doubt a lot of other people in media.

  • John Scorah

    Hear, hear.
    Best wishes for the future John.