Range of skills gave Trkulja the edge in Hello! job race

Trkulja: will build on success

A combination of newspaper, magazine and online skills, as well as a background on successful rival Now, helped Maria Trkulja clinch the editorship of Hello!

Trkulja, a former deputy editor of Now and launch editor of the Daily Mail’s website femail.co.uk, managed to beat several top candidates to the post and will replace Hello!’s outgoing editor-in-chief, Phil Hall.

Hello! publishing director Sally Cartwright said Trkulja stood out because she had a good balance of skills. "We had a lot of candidates of a very high level and there was a lot of interest," she told Press Gazette.

"Maria’s experience on Now will obviously help, her newspaper experience is good for a magazine like Hello! and the electronic side is also useful because Hello! has a very good website."

Trkulja will join Hello! from femail.co.uk, which she launched in 2000. Prior to Now, she was deputy editor of Woman’s Day in Australia and worked for the Sunday Express, Sunday Mirror and Bella.

Cartwright said there were no plans to take Hello! downmarket and added that cover stories would remain a top priority. "Hello! is, we hope, a newsworthy magazine, not sensationalist or controversial. We would not want to take it in that direction," she said. "Everybody has been very happy with the way Phil Hall has handled it and there is absolutely no intention of re-positioning. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the direction Hello! is going in at the moment."

Hello! suffered a 38 per cent drop period on period in the latest ABCs because of promotional activity that boosted its previous set of results, but it did manage to increase sales by 5 per cent on the previous year to 526,947, higher than OK!’s 486,858. That set of results saw Now overtake both its rival titles for the first time with sales of 552,744.

Cartwright suggested there would be further tie-ups with OK!, following the success of the joint pictures of the Beckhams’ charity party and she said it would be up to Trkulja to make any changes to Hello!’s editorial team. "Any new editor needs to look around at her team. We have a good deputy in Roger Kasper, but it will be up to her."

Trkulja was one of several big names to fly out to Madrid for an interview with Hello! proprietor Eduardo Sanchez Junco.

On holiday this week, Trkulja issued a statement that said: "Phil Hall has done a great job of increasing Hello!’s sales, and he’s leaving me with a very healthy product. It is my job to build on that success.

"I want to pack the magazine with the best celebrity interviews, news stories and pictures. I’m delighted to be working on the best magazine in the most exciting sector of the magazine market," she said.

By Ruth Addicott

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