- In a tersely worded press statement Mirror Group Newspapers said it had "terminated the employment" of John Mulholland, the pre-launch editor of the daily sports newspaper the Sporting Life.
The press statement pulled no punches and suggested an acrimonious and tense atmosphere at Mirror Group's London headquarters.
His sacking follows the announcement on Friday that Mirror Group is to postpone the October relaunch of Sporting Life, which will be the UK's first daily sports newspaper. Mirror Group had planned to publish the first issue of the new-look title, which had previously been a specialist racing paper, on 19 October and had earmarked a £25 million relaunch budget.
The Mirror Group statement said: "MGN has terminated the employment of John Mulholland, the pre-launch editor of the Sporting Life, with immediate effect. His continued presence would further delay and put in jeopardy the whole project.
It continued: "In the face of misleading articles, the company, wishes to reassure all those journalists employed on the Sporting Life project that it will proceed under new and professional leadership."
Mulholland joined as Mirror Group editor from the Guardian where he was media editor. This morning, the Guardian carried a critical two-page article on Mirror Group chief executive David Montgomery's handling of the relaunch.
Mirror Group, which is said to have hired in the region of 60 journalists for the relaunch, says the paper will now launch next spring.
The relaunch is understood to have been called off following renewed speculation that Mirror Group will merge with the newspaper group Trinity International.
Speculation has surrounded the two media groups for some time following the collapse of negotiations between Mirror Group and the German media company Axel Springer earlier this year.