Press Gazette magazine Dec edition: Top 50 showbiz journos, Bullivant's Birmingham battle and Fleet Street's silence over Desmond divorce

A handful of stardust has been sprinkled over the December edition of Press Gazette as we bring you the top 50 showbiz journalists.

The list, as with other ones we have produced, is purely based on votes cast by journalists working in this sector. We also name the showbiz figure they most hate, and their favourite and least favourite PRs.

The Big Question: Rupert Murdoch, good or evil? Including comment from Trinity Mirror chief executive Sly Bailey who warns that “rationalising news operations, price wars and bundling news – both print and online – with TV and broadband”, will follow if Murdoch succeeds in buying out BSkyB.

Chris Bullivant reveals why he waved the white flag on his Birmingham newspaper war with Trinity Mirror – and how he now plans to recoup his losses by taking Trinity to the Office of Fair Trading for pricing him out of the market.

I went up to the Oldham to visit the Manchester Evening News at its new home under owners Trinity Mirror. Editor Maria McGeoghan showed me around a re-organised newsroom where the weekly newspaper editorial teams have been merged with the daily, and the “story” has been put at the heart of everything.

Grey Cardigan spreads his customary Christmas cheer: “Everyone is thoroughly miserable, we can’t produce newspapers to the standards we want and I honestly think the suits have given up on us and are just riding the downward spiral of terminal decline. Bah, humbug.”

Lori Miles pays tribute to John Dale and his 20-year career at the helm of the UK’s most successful women’s weekly, Take a Break: “John had utter respect for his readers. He never judged their morals or circumstances. The narrative made each subject of the story a hero heroine.” Adding: “He refused to go to focus groups, had a couple of out-of-court settlements and would often take Friday afternoons off to enjoy refreshment at Camden’s many hostelries….”

Alex Thomson warns that competing broadcast news agencies Reuters TV and APTV need to put rivalries aside to curb the death toll of journalists killed covering war.

Freelance of the month Jonathan Green reveals how he charges $3 a word, and more, to publications in the USA…Kerching!

Construction News editor Nick Edwards reveals how B2B editors can get to know their readers better by categorising them into 10 types and then tailoring content accordingly.

And Axegrinder asks why the agency hacks touting the story of a major media tycoon’s divorce were given short-shrift by national press newsdesks.

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