Art editor Cosyns, left, has accepted Wade’s offer and joins from MGN
Editor Rebekah Wade is gathering a new team of talent around her from Fleet Street to relaunch The Sun. And it is believed there are longer-term plans to revamp her old paper, the News of the World.
Wade’s latest poached addition -and one vital to her plans – is MGN art director Simon Cosyns, No3 at the Daily Mirror for nearly six years, who sits at home on gardening leave while lawyers from News Group Newspapers and MGN wrangle over his 18-month contract. His original start date was to have been next Monday.
Wade has had her eye on Cosyns, who was seven years at The Sun, for some time. To tempt him, she has persuaded News Group to give him its first group role – art director at both The Sun and the NoW. But it is clear his primary job will be working on her paper’s relaunch, before a possible revamp at the NoW.
She is already clearing the decks for the paper’s relaunch. She has fought to recruit Victoria Newton from the Daily Mail to run the Bizarre column, Paul Field (against a counter-offer from the Sunday Mirror) from The Mail on Sunday to head the news desk operation, and she still awaits the transfer of columnist Ally Ross from the NoW – “the longest transfer since Beckham going to Madrid. He’s been coming since January,” said a Sun executive.
She has one or two more appointments to make, including a columnist, and then she will be set to build a new paper.
Cosyns, 45, who has been group associate editor of the Daily and Sunday Mirror for eight years, did not choose his moment well to tell editor Piers Morgan that he was thinking of accepting an offer from The Sun. It was the day when ABC figures came out showing Daily Mirror sales were down again, this time by 3.4 per cent.
Morgan ordered him to go home and consider his position while he was in the middle of production duties on that day’s paper. An insider said: “They have handed their secret weapon to The Sun on a plate.”
Cosyns has not even officially resigned, say colleagues, who believe he was open to Wade’s blandishments because he felt his career had hit a brick wall at MGN, becoming typecast as a production guru and bypassed for promotion while colleagues from other departments went on to gain editorships.
It was only after working for many years as a reporter that he went into design.
He had already turned down one approach to go back to The Sun when David Yelland was editor.
He is said to be upset at the way his relationship with Morgan is ending.
The Mirror editor was quick to make a retaliatory raid, approaching Sun art director Joe Madden at the weekend. However, he was persuaded to stay, having secured a trip to other parts of the News Corporation empire at the end of the year as part of a deal. Wade, anxious for Cosyns to start, said: “He’s a great asset. And the sooner the better.”
Cosyns’ appointment is likely to see the end of the truce between the Sun and Mirror editors which has existed since Yelland departed.
“It’s on shaky ground. He [Morgan] has not forgiven her for the war – though it was hardly her fault,” predicted a Sun insider.
By Jean Morgan