Back Issues 23.09.04

NEWS TURNS TABLOID

The London Evening News, which could claim to have the biggest evening sale in the world, was preparing to go tabloid. Press Gazette carried these dummies of the new look being planned by editor Lou Kirby.

SITTING ON THE FACTS

Peterborough Standard reporter Lynn Whittaker was demanding a new pair of trousers from the city council. Whittaker claimed his light brown flannel trousers had been stained because he had to sit on a newly-painted chair while covering a long committee meeting. “I went on to a late night party and did not discover the stain until the next day,” he said.

EXPRESS: NEW EDITOR, £900,000 PUSH

Alastair Burnet had been made editor of The Daily Express. Burnet, who succeeded Ian McColl, had been editing The Economist for nine years and before that had worked for the BBC and ITN, where he helped launch News at Ten. He took over at The Express shortly after The Sun had usurped its position as Britain’s second best selling daily, behind The Daily Mirror. The Daily Express was about to spend £900,000 on a promotional campaign. Burnet re-joined ITN in 1976, became one of the country’s best known news presenters and was knighted.

PEOPLE AVOIDS CLOSURE OR MERGER

The Sunday People joined the tabloid revolution on 22 September, 1974. Editor Geoffrey Pinnington is pictured with his new paper ready to be printed. The tabloid switch came because The People was not attracting enough young readers and needed to change, according to a source quoted in Press Gazette, “to prevent its slide, ultimately leading to its closure or merger with The Sunday Mirror”.
Amazingly, this closure talk came when The People was selling 4.4 million copies a week, although it had fallen from a mighty circulation of more than 5m.

HENRY ‘S SPLASH

Boxing champ Henry Cooper presented the Ilford picture awards. One of the winner’s was Daily Mirror photographer Monte Fresco, whose shot was of two footballers in the shower. Cooper quipped: “He was always trying to get me to pose in the shower, but I refused. Monte is the only man who could take photographs in the shower and get away with it.”

SUCH VERBOSITY

Broadcaster Alistair Cooke, speaking to students in the US, decried the trend in America for verbosity. He objected to “precipitation activity” for rain and “burglarise” for rob.

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