Back Issues 06.01.05

Jon Slattery trawls the archives to look at what was making Press Gazette headlines in 01.95



Journalists on the Manchester Evening News had blasted their bosses as hypocrites. The MEN chapel made the accusation after noting that both the MEN and sister paper The Guardian had run leaders attacking huge executive pay rises – while Guardian Media Group chairman Harry Roche (above) had picked up a 30 per cent pay increase to £238,429. The journalists were informed that Roche’s increase included “health insurance items and a performance-related bonus deferred from previous years.”


Emap had pulled the plug on one of its biggest launches, the glossy Carweek motoring magazine, with the loss of up to ten editorial jobs. It was estimated that the venture had cost the company £8 million over two years. Tom Moloney, then chief executive of Emap Consumer Magazines, admitted the market had been too crowded with two other weekly titles, Auto Express and Autocar, fighting for readers. “Our initial view was the market was bigger than it was,” he said.


Emap’s Metro division had shocked freelances by asking them to sign contracts which waived authors’ moral rights to their work and extended Emap’s copyright on work “exclusively throughout the universe.” One freelance told Press Gazette : “The bit about the universe is just laughable. What are they going to do, start publishing on the moon?”


News of the World editor Piers Morgan was preparing to attack the middle market in a bid to steal sales from the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Express. Morgan told Press Gazette : “We’re comfortably outselling the combined total sales of The People and the Sunday Mirror, it is time to take on new competitors.”


Alan Rusbridger had been named as the new editor of The Guardian , replacing Peter Preston, who had been made editor-in-chief of The Guardian and The Observer. Rusbridger had moved up from deputy editor. Georgina Henry, The Guardian’s features and media editor, was made the new deputy. Rusbridger said one of his aims was to redress the shortage of women at the paper in senior posts. The search was on for a new editor of The Observer after the resignation of Jonathan Fenby.


The BBC was furious after ITN claimed to have the most popular news programme. News at Ten did have viewing figures of 6.6million, compared to the BBC’s 9pm bulletin’s figure of 5.8m. But the BBC argued that its Six O’Clock News pulled in 6.3m, compared to ITN’s 4.9m at 5.40pm, and its lunchtime news attracted 3.4 million, compared to ITN’s ratings of 2.5m. Mark Damazer, editor of BBC TV news programmes, dismissed ITN’s claims as “press office hype and distortion”.


ITN reporter Andrew Simmons had spent Christmas in Chechnya, covering the battle for Grozny. While the Russians had claimed to have taken control of the city, Simmons and his crew found Chechens celebrating in the main square. Christmas was spent with other correspondents, drinking beer and eating smoked salmon and instant mashed potato

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