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Sky News: Express and Mail owners discuss merger

April 4th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick, Newspapers

Sky News is reporting that Richard Desmond has discussed selling the Express to the Daily Mail and General Trust.

Writing on the Sky’s blog, City editor Mark Kleinman claims talks have taken place between the chairman of Northern and Shell and Lord Rothermere, chairman of DMGT.

The two men are now said to get on reasonably well, and I understand both believe that a deal could be in their interests. A merger of the titles would create a newspaper powerhouse commanding weekday sales of more than 3m copies, according to the ABCs (which measure newspaper circulation) for February.

It’s not clear what DMGT would plan to do with the Express if it did buy it. I’m told that it has considered launching a red-top tabloid to compete with the Sun at various points during the last decade, a consideration that would be fulfilled if it acquired the Daily Star and its Sunday sister title, which Desmond also owns.

Kleinman’s blog is not the first to report on the potential sale of the Express. Last month the Evening Standard mentioned a possible offloading of the title when reporting Desmond’s readiness to sell three magazines, including OK!

Roy Greenslade ponders what form a DGMT Express could take.

To reduce national press ownership would be a mighty step at a time when there are increasing concerns about pluralism and diversity of voice.

Of course, the nature of the merger need not result in the disappearance of the Express title. I guess it would be possible for DMGT to publish both papers.

Given their current similarity, there would be no point in producing the Express in its current form. Perhaps it could be transformed into a cheap Mail (on the lines of The Independent‘s kid sister, i).

Then again, maybe Desmond and Rothermere are just having a laugh. I say again: are they really being serious?

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Journalism Daily: 70 jobs to go at Express and Star titles, the Groucho’s libel action, regional ABCes

August 27th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism Daily

A daily round-up of all the content published on the Journalism.co.uk site. You can also sign up to our e-newsletter and subscribe to the feed for the Journalism Daily here.

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Journalism Daily: Freelance photographers’ rights, AFP reporters injured and Express rapped by ASA

August 12th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Journalism Daily

Journalism.co.uk is trialling a new service via the Editors’ Blog: a daily round-up of all the content published on the Journalism.co.uk site.

We hope you’ll find it useful as a quick digest of what’s gone on during the day (similar to our e-newsletter) and to check that you haven’t missed a posting.

We’ll be testing it out for a couple of weeks, so you can subscribe to the feed for the Journalism Daily here.

Let us know what you think – all feedback much appreciated.

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Tom Bower: “I knew I distrusted Desmond, but could I trust Eady?”

July 27th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

As reported widely elsewhere, at this link for example, owner of Express and Star newspapers and OK! magazine Richard Desmond, last week lost a libel action against Tom Bower, concerning a passage in the journalist’s unauthorised biography of Conrad Black published in 2007.

Amid all the subsequent comment, Tom Bower’s own ‘My Week’ piece for yesterday’s Observer stands out. Bower believes that Desmond devised the libel complaint ‘to prevent the publication of Rough Trader, my unauthorised biography of Desmond which was completed and printed [but never published] in 2006 (…)’.

Here’s an extract from Bower’s account of the trial:

“The ‘forged’ letters incident was a glorious highlight. My letters in 2005 to Desmond asking for interviews were dismissed by Desmond as ‘forgeries’. Infuriated by Desmond’s audacity, I stood up while he was still giving evidence and signalled to my wife [former London Evening Standard editor, Veronica Wadley] seated behind to exit the court. One hour later, after a dash back to our Hampstead home, she returned clutching a recorded delivery letter sent in 2005 to Desmond’s home and returned by him unopened. For four years, it had been carefully preserved in a white filing cabinet in my study.”

Full post at this link…

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MediaGuardian: Express owner Richard Desmond loses libel case

July 24th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

Desmond, the owner of Express and Star newspapers, has lost his action against biographer Tom Bower – leaving him with an estimated £1.25 million legal bill, the Guardian reports.

The newspaper owner took the action over two pages of Bower’s unauthorised biography of Conrad Black in which he claimed Bower made him look like a ‘wimp’ and made allegations about his relationship as a newspaper rival to Black.

“On the other side of court 13, Bower smiled, and accepted a kiss from his solicitor. His two barristers embraced: for a defendant to win a libel case is an exceptionally rare thing,” writes Helen Pidd.

Full story at this link…

Update: Desmond gives his own take on the trial in this Express article.

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Greenslade: Peter Hill’s ‘mistakes’ to parliamentary committee

April 30th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

Roy Greenslade challenges several points made by Daily Express editor Peter Hill at Tuesday’s Commons select committee meeting on press standards, privacy and libel.

The committee did not push Hill hard enough on the ethical issues surrounding his paper’s coverage of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, writes Greenslade.

Full post at this link…

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MediaGuardian: Express reporters will input own copy as 80 sub-editors axed

October 2nd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Jobs, Journalism

Journalists at the Daily Express will input their copy directly into page templates, as the paper cuts 80 sub-editing staff.

A group of 26 former sub-editors will oversee production operations and decide on the layout of the templates.

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MediaGuardian: Express cuts will cause titles’ ‘immediate demise as national papers’, says NUJ

September 12th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Jobs

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) chapel at Express Newspapers has criticised proposed job cuts at the Express and Sunday Express.

Plans were announced on Wednesday to more than 80 staff and casual sub-editors.

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Express Newspapers staff plan three-day strike

April 14th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Jobs, Journalism

Journalists at the Express newspapers have postponed today’s planned industrial action in favour of a three-day strike starting on April 22, the Press Gazette reports.

The union has described suspension of today’s action as an ‘act of good will’ and has urged the paper’s proprietors to open up talks to avert further strikes.

The 24-hour strike planned for this Friday will go ahead, as staff continue to campaign against a pay offer of 3 per cent.

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