A direct marketing campaign by Nursing Standard backfired after its promotional material was mistaken for letter bombs. The material included unmarked tapes sealed in “confidential” envelopes and a message with “blackmail” style lettering. Police were alerted at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and the magazine was contacted by a number of police forces about its campaign. The tapes contained an anonymous and conspiratorial message about “top secret” news on classified advertising offers. Nursing Standard publisher Alison Dunn admitted: “We would not want to upset anyone, but the attention to detail did backfire.”
PIERS TAKES HELM AT NoW
Piers Morgan told Press Gazette he was “gobsmacked” to have been made editor of the News of the World at 29. He succeeded Patsy Chapman who had retired after suffering poor health. Morgan had been acting editor since January. Morgan’s appointment had caused raised eyebrows because he had come to the NoW straight from The Sun’s Bizarre gossip column after working on weekly papers in Surrey. “I was as astounded as anybody when I got the chance but I’ve absolutely relished it,” he said. Under Morgan the NoW had had a run of juicy exclusives, which included the story of former Tory minister Alan Clark bedding a judge’s wife and his two daughters.
JOURNALISTS REFUSE TO PAY TORIES
Journalists in Cheshire were livid after being forced to pay £25 into Tory party coffers or face being barred from a visit by PrimeMinister John Major. The journalists were asked to pay the “penalty” fee for press accreditation because they had missed a Conservative Central Office cutoff date for applications. A number of journalists refused to cough up, including Reg Herbert, editor of the Evening Leader. He splashed on the story under the headline: “PM’s a Cheeky Beggar.”
MATTHEW ‘S HIGH
Matthew Lewin had been appointed the new editor of the Hampstead and Highgate Express. He succeeded Gerry Isaaman, who had spent 39 years on the North London weekly. Lewin, a South African, was deputy editor and had been on the paper for 21 years.
SELECTED FOR PULP
Emap had pulped 85,000 copies of its July edition of Select after fears that it might well encourage teenagers to commit dangerous acts. The fearscentred on a freelance feature which included advice on how to mix generous quantities ofalcoholwith drugs.Select managing editor Mark Ellen said the featurewas pulled because it was “a little too close to the edge” and could have exposed the magazine to legal action.
RETURN OF THE EUROPEAN
Charles Garside was back at The European as editor-in-chief after leaving the paper seven months earlier after a row with chief executive Greg Macleod. Garside had been invited back by The European’s owners, the Barclay Brothers.