Murder verdict puts Mail into overdrive

East Riding Mail: verdict splash        Total R and R: going in all editions

The guilty verdict in the Rachel Moran murder trial broke on the same day the Hull Daily Mail was introducing major editorial changes.

The changes were planned for last Thursday when the redesigned East Riding edition got the green light for launch along with a new standalone leisure supplement, Total R and R, which goes into all the Mail’s editions.

One thing the paper could not plan was that the guilty verdict against killer Michael Little, who murdered Moran in Hull on New Year’s Day, would come at 11am on the same day.

The Moran case provoked huge interest in Hull and by the final edition the paper was carrying seven pages of news on the horrific murder. It then produced a 5am Friday edition with 13 pages on the aftermath and background on the murder case, which went on sale alongside the nationals.

Editor John Meehan said: “Everything happened on one day. It was the busiest day of my 20 years in journalism. Our journalists did a superb job and responded magnificently to all the pressures in the build-up to these new launches and an enormous story breaking in the middle of our editions. “I doubt whether there are many other teams in the regional press who could have achieved what they did to such an exceptional standard.”

Total R and R runs to 28 pages and covers cinema, culture and arts, health and fitness, outdoor activities, café culture and retail therapy. Its extensive listings also take in Leeds, York and Sheffield – outside the paper’s circulation but within reach of its readers.

The Mail has also launched a fourday R and R daily leisure section within the paper, containing news, views and listings.

The new East Riding masthead deliberately goes back to the paper’s past when it was called the Daily Mail.

Meehan said: “It harks back to our original masthead before we went tabloid in 1986 and called ourselves the Hull Daily Mail.” The Daily Mail was launched in Hull in September 1885 – well before the national Daily Mail which launched in May 1896.

By Jon Slattery

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