In January 1990, when the Recorder secured a council contract from under the Gazette's nose, Ted called at the office both to congratulate Ken and offer to buy him out. With the Recorder circulation down, Ted warned Ken that another summer like the last one was likely to see him off, sweetening the deal by promising capital to restart and jobs for its staff. Optimistic due to the council contract, Ken flatly turned Ted down, but after a frank meeting with his accountant Rod Fielding, he changed his mind and agreed to the terms.
With the Recorder dissolved, Ken was given editorial responsibility over a section of the Gazette. However, the Gazette's editor Jeff Richmond felt that Ken had been foisted on him and blocked all of his ideas, leading Ken to offer his resignation - which Jeff accepted without hesitation. To save his job, Ken tried to contact Ted, but couldn't get hold of him and only got a chance to discuss the matter when they bumped into each other in the men's toilets. Ted, who had been made aware of the situation, sympathetically admitted that there wasn't room for two editors and refused to intervene with Jeff's running of the paper. Feeling that Ted never had any intention of employing him long-term, Ken became angry, labelling their meeting location "the Pontius Pilate memorial washroom".
As a final twist in the tale, Ken's partner and secretary Wendy Crozier took over his position in all but name. A few weeks later, with Ken still looking for work, he visited the Lamb Hotel, a popular spot for local journalists, where he saw Wendy drinking with Ted. Once Ken had left, Ted asked Wendy how he was getting on and remarked that he wasn't surprised he hadn't yet found a job, calling him a loser.