Stott hits back at Indy
Daily Mirror editor Richard Stott fired off a letter to The Independent. Stott said he was tired of the “patronising and ill-informed” attacks by The Independent on the standards of the tabloid press.
“To lump us all together is absurd and trite particularly as your attacks are centred mainly on The Sun and News of the World.” Stott added that the Daily Mirror had been campaigning against NHS cuts “many months before the rest of you began to wake up”.
Weekly circulation going strong
Sales of weekly regional newspapers were up by 500,000 copies in 1987, according to the latest figures from the News-paper Society. Research showed that weeklies increased their total circulation from 6.9 million in 1986 to 7.4 million in 1987.
Robert Maxwell’s United Trade Press had bought a 90 per cent stake in Media Week publisher Patey Doyle for £5.8m cash.
Fairfax gets his hands on Spectator
Uncertainty over the future ownership of The Spectator – at one time Robert Maxwell was mooted as a possible owner – ended with the announcement that it had been sold by John Fairfax to Telegraph Group and its Canadian controlling parent company, Hollinger Inc. The price paid for the magazine was thought to be around £3m.
April fool causes backlash
A local council failed to see the funny side of an April Fool spoof in the Wirral Globe. Wirral Borough Council reported the newspaper to the Press Council, withdrew its advertising and threatened legal action.
The Globe had run a spoof front-page splash outlining new cuts being considered by the council. These included: scrapping the bin service, making council house tenants do their own repairs, asking residents to supply light bulbs for street lamps and a council “snatch squad” with powers to enter homes and retrieve overdue library books.
Editor Martin Hovden said: “We have run April Fool stories for the past 10 years. It is a time when you can let your hair down with your readers and have a laugh.”
Grimsditch Lands Daily Sport
It was announced that Peter Grimsditch, launch editor of the Daily Star, was to edit the new daily version of the Sunday Sport.
Grimsditch was recruited by Mike Gabbert who had been sacked as editor of the Star a year before when Express Newspapers was in partnership with the publisher of Sunday Sport. Gabbert said: “I am cock-a-hoop at getting Peter. It was my first priority.”
Quality echo-ed at awards
The Northern Echo, edited by Alan Prosser, was named newspaper of the year in the first Press Gazette British Regional Press Awards.
Prosser was presented with the award by Princess Anne. Among the paper’s staff were news editor Rachel Campey, last week named editor of the Yorkshire Post, and night news editor Peter Barron, the current editor of The Northern Echo.
Mass Sun exodus halted
Sixteen Sun journalists collected their redundancy cheques and left Wapping in the wake of a new deal which took away their four-day week. More than twice that number had asked to go but the halving decision was made by editor Kelvin MacKenzie. The management expressed astonishment at the number of people applying under special redundancy terms of one month for each year of service plus holiday and notice money. Early estimates had put possible leavers at five. When the flood of applications grew they called a halt.