By Dominic Ponsford
The editorship of the Birmingham Evening Mail, vacant since
editor-inchief Roger Borrell was axed in March, has been given to Steve
Dyson from the Evening Gazette in Middlesbrough.
Borrell lost his job after the last round of regional newspaper ABCs
showed the Evening Mail down 10.5 per cent year-on-year to 96,143.
the time insiders pointed out that sales at the paper have been on a
downward slide for 30 years and that Birmingham’s fluid population, and
large ethnic communities, presented particular newspaper circulation
problems. But Dyson, 37, is upbeat about his chances of changing the
fortunes of the Evening Mail. He said: “I’m really excited, I think
it’s one of the top jobs in the industry and one that I’m absolutely
chuffed to have the chance to do. I think the situation can be turned
He already knows the patch well as he comes from
Birmingham and previously spent eight years at the Evening Mail, rising
to the job of deputy editor.
He said he plans to use the lessons
he has learned over three years at the Evening Gazette – particularly
the benefits of campaigning and using the edition structure to target
news in particular areas.
Under Dyson the Gazette, which like the
Evening Mail is owned by Trinity Mirror, has been the only big evening
paper covering a metropolitan area in the UK to put on sales. In the
last round of ABCs it was up 0.5 per cent to 58,446. Dyson said that
“engaging the community” will be central to his strategy at the Evening
Mail. “When there’s any issue or any controversy we’ve got to make sure
that the paper’s smack bang in the middle of it.”
He said he also
intends to make sure that reporters are “out there in the community”
and that “the edition structure reflects that”.
Georgina Harvey, Trinity Mirror’s managing director, regional newspapers, praised Dyson’s “flair, drive and commitment”.
Steve Dyson CV
Evening Gazette, Middlesbrough: editor, June 2002 to present
Evening Mail, Birmingham: July
1994 to May 2002, industrial correspondent, deputy news editor,
features editor, head of news, chief assistant editor and then deputy
editor. Worked with Ian Dowell from 1994 to 2000, then Roger Borrell.
Sunday Mercury, Birmingham: senior reporter, July 1993 to July 1994
Metro News, Birmingham: (free weekly, previously the free Daily News): reporter, May 1992 to July 1993
Caters News Agency, Birmingham: April 1991 to May 1992