New Mail editor’s plans revealed

New Mail editor's plans revealed
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Fear and unease have stalked the corridors of Northcliffe House since the announcement last Wednesday of Geordie Greig’s defenestration as editor of the Daily Mail. A ‘funereal’ atmosphere has lingered over the paper’s staff ever since, with nervy hacks fearing the return of expletive-riddled editorial explosions associated with Greig’s predecessor Paul Dacre. There’s also considerable unease about the decision to combine the editorships of the daily and Sunday papers into a single post.

But on Saturday, Greig’s successor, Ted Verity, sought to reassure the Sunday journalists that their future were safe. Addressing the newsroom as his final edition of the Mail on Sunday went to print, the recently-promoted Verity told assembled hacks that talk of a seven day operation was ‘total nonsense.’ As Mr S reported last week, Fleet Street veteran Dave Dillon will be 'running the show' for Sundays, after two decades at the paper, with Leaf Kalfayan overseeing Saturdays at the Daily Mail – the biggest-selling edition in Britain. And 'one or two people' may actually be brought in at executive level to have 'even more muscle' in assisting Dillon in his duties.

In a ‘fairly long’ speech, reading from a sheet of A4, Verity eulogised about the need to get more people reading their 'fantastic journalism' on phones and tablets, hinting at a paid-for subscription digital version along the lines of the Telegraph and Times. What this all means for Mail Plus – the much-vaunted but little-known existing digital service into which considerable sums have already been ploughed – remains unclear. The Mailman pressed on and said, pointedly, that the changes to the Mail’s structure would bring an end to the 'pointless rivalry' between the daily and Sunday papers, a decade-long feud that sometimes sees the papers in two-way serialisation bidding wars against each other.

In a thinly-veiled dig at Greig, Verity said he shared the frustration of MoS hacks that big stories broken on a Sunday are then largely ignored by the following day’s Daily Mail. 'That is not going to happen anymore,' he said. He ended by saying: ‘Right, let's get the paper out’ to a round of applause from the assembled hacks. How will such talk go down just along the corridor at the daily, where Verity today begins his first day as editor? Already there is much excitable talk among staff about Greigites being axed, although no formal announcements have yet been made.

As one Mailman confided to Mr S: ‘We all thought it’d be the daily which would take over the Sunday – not the other way around.’