Peart: "The best possible outcome"
After waiting for five months to be confirmed as the new editor of You magazine, a delighted Sue Peart said this week: "It was worth the wait."
Peart took over the running of the flagship Mail on Sunday magazine after the surprise departure of editor Dee Nolan, who left last September to become the launch editor of Time Warner’s glossy In Style magazine.
During that time, top names from both the magazine and newspaper worlds were considered for what is seen to be one of the most coveted jobs in national newspaper journalism.
Peart, who was Nolan’s deputy, held her nerve, producing strong covers and spreads and making innovative appointments such as that of socialite Normandie Keith as a writer on style and beauty.
After being confirmed as editor, she said: "It’s absolutely great. I’m thrilled. It’s the best possible outcome. Right from the beginning I thought that it was terribly important that they should speak to as many people as they wished. It’s a very high-profile job and one that I know would attract a lot of interest from very high-calibre candidates.
"I didn’t mind how long it took. I was far too busy to worry about what was going on.
"It was never a foregone conclusion that I would get the job."
Peart conceded that the uncertainty of the past five months had been difficult for the staff. "But they never showed it. They pulled behind me 110 per cent. In fact there was a huge surge of energy. I could feel that and it made my job a lot easier to do."
Peart was the editor of the Sunday Express Magazine before editing the Weekend section of The Times. She joined Nolan as deputy of You in 1992.
"I’m glad it wasn’t an instant decision. Nobody is more aware than I am that hearts get broken in Fleet Street. I was quite realistic about what might happen. Now I have a mandate there will be changes but it is too early to say what. The brand is very successful and very strong so it would be crazy to muck around with that. But the magazine will move forward."
Mail on Sunday editor Peter Wright said he was delighted to announce the appointment. "Sue was always a very strong contender and I’m delighted she has got the job. She did a very good job of holding it together. It’s very difficult being an acting editor but she did it brilliantly."
He said there were no plans to change what had been a successful formula. "You magazine is an integral part of The Mail on Sunday. It lends tremendous strength to the package.
"When other people are producing clones of it, the last thing you want to do is to make radical changes."
By Philippa Kennedy