Back Issues 15.04.05

APRIL 1985

BY JON SLATTERY

Shah appoints Today editor

Eddy
Shah had picked Brian MacArthur, then editor of the Western Morning
News, as launch editor of his planned new national daily Today.

MacArthur’s
mixture of regional and national experience – he was a former deputy
editor of The Sunday Times – had put him ahead of a strong field of
candidates, said to include two other regional editors and a senior
national newspaper executive.

Western Morning News publisher Northcliffe was not happy and threatened to hold MacArthur to his contract.

Triumph for the Argus

For
the first time a regional journalist had taken the top honour in the
British Press Awards. David Williams, editor of the Evening Argus,
Brighton, was named Journalist of the Year for its coverage of the IRA
bomb at the Conservative Party conference in Brighton, and for its
campaign to raise money for victims of the Ethiopian famine. After the
bomb blast ripped through the Grand Hotel at 3am, the Argus had a
special edition on the streets by 9.30am. It also raised more than
£70,000 for famine relief, with Williams reporting from Ethiopia.

In
those days Journalist of the Year was the top honour in the British
Press Awards as there was no award for Newspaper of the Year, arguably
leading to less rancour among the participants.

The Pope’s newspaper

Pope
John Paul 11 had met with board members of a Polish newspaper in Rome
to mark its 40th anniversary. As a young priest he had made his
journalistic debut with an article on the front page of Tygodnik
Powszechny (Universal Weekly). Said to “walk a tricky tightrope as an
outspoken Catholic paper in a Communist country”, it was known in
Poland as “the Pope’s newspaper”.

Royal interview lifted

The
BBC was condemned by its own governors for breaching copyright and
lifting a TV-am exclusive interview with Princess Michael of Kent.

The
BBC taped the interview, in which she spoke for the first time about
her father’s membership of the SS, and broadcast it on Breakfast Time.
The governors expressed “grave disapproval” at the breach, while
TV-am said it would take legal action.

All change at Cosmo

Linda Kelsey had been appointed editor of Cosmopolitan, replacing Deidre McSharry who had held the post for 12 years.

Kelsey, the third editor since the magazine’s launch, had been acting editor since February.

Frees make money

Advertising
revenue for free newspapers overtook that of paid weeklies for the
first time during 1984, according to preliminary figures compiled by
Research Services. Revenue for free weeklies was up by 25 per cent to
£224m, compared with £223m for paid-for weeklies

New paper for left wingers

It
was revealed that a left-wing Sunday newspaper, News on Sunday, was
being planned to launch in 1986. It eventually launched in April 1987,
with backing from trade unions and other Labour supporters, but closed
on 14 June. It was then revived by entrepreneur Owen Oyston who finally
closed it in November.

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