People old boy becomes editor

Mark Thomas has made it from junior reporter to the editor’s chair at The People via the News of the World, the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror.

The appointment of Thomas, former deputy editor of the Sunday Mirror, was announced this week by Trinity Mirror after a long search for a replacement for Neil Wallis, now the number two at the News of the World.

Thomas arrived at The People with a plan to take the paper forward: “It will make The People different but it will be a gradual shift. I can’t do everything at once but over the weeks you will see a slight change in tone.

“There is a terrific team here and I am sure we can build on the historic strength of the title.”

Wallis always felt he was short of resources. Thomas says he has yet to look at budgets but added: “I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t think it could work.” There will be new recruits to the newspaper later but Thomas is now concentrating on working with the current team.

He began his career with the Fleet Street News Agency at 18 in 1985. He moved to The People and then to the News of the World where, after two years breaking high-profile stories, he was made chief reporter. He went to the Daily Mirror as investigations editor and was made assistant editor (features) in 1998.

His big break came in 2001 when Tina Weaver was made editor of the Sunday Mirror and took him with her to be her deputy.

Mark Haysom, Trinity Mirror’s managing director, national newspapers, said: “Mark is a highly skilled and experienced operator with a proven track record. I’m delighted he’s returning to The People in the top job.”

Haysom thanked People deputy Alan Edwards for his work as acting editor since the start of the year. Edwards and his team were to be congratulated on improvements they had made to the title during this period, he said.

Weaver said: “I’ve absolutely no doubt that Mark is the best man to edit The People. He’s been a tremendous deputy to me and is well equipped to take on the challenge.”

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