M A R C H 1 9 8 6
‘I’ve pulled off the impossible again’
Eddy Shah had shrugged off criticism of his new paper, Today, and told Press Gazette: "I’ve done it, I’ve pulled off the impossible again." Some critics claimed "Eddy wasn’t ready" and said colour in the paper was out of register and that production of black and white pictures was poor. Others said Today had not lived up to months of media hype. Lloyd Turner, editor of The Star, said: "Fortunately for some, unfortunately for Mr Shah, the launch has been a bad one. National newspapers have a tremendous struggle to recover from poor beginnings." Mike Molloy, editor-in-chief of the Mirror Group, said: "I think they’re deliberately trying not to look like a vulgar tabloid. In fact they make The Sunday Times look jazzy and The Daily Telegraph fairly exciting. Today has a flat look; it’s anodyne."
Shah gets the knock
Shah might have been pleased with the launch, but he got the hump at a book written about him by The Guardian’s Patrick Wintour and the FT’s David Goodhart. Shah had returned his £500 fee for the book Eddie Shah and the Newspaper Revolution, which was going to be paid to charity. Shah was scathing about Goodhart, now editor of Prospect magazine. "He’s never had to do a day’s work in his life.
I call his sort Paperback Socialists," an angry Shah told Press Gazette’s Dog column.
Max in editor’s chair at Telegraph
Two new editors had been appointed to national newspapers. Max Hastings, 41, famous for his reporting of the Falklands conflict, was the new editor of The Daily Telegraph. Meanwhile, Nick Lloyd was taking over from Sir Larry Lamb at the Daily Express. Lloyd, 43, was a former editor of the Sunday People and the News of the World, where he oversaw its switch to tabloid format. He was working for News International and was meant to be the editor of Rupert Murdoch’s London Post, a would-be rival to the Evening Standard. The project was sidelined by the switch by NI from Fleet Street to Wapping. Hastings was adamant that the "feel" of the Telegraph would not change. He told Press Gazette: "The great legacy of the Berry family is that it’s a truthful paper. One of the saddest things about my time in Fleet Street is that respect for the truth has declined. More and more titles don’t care about the truth and treat news as entertainment."
April kick-off for Racing Post
It was announced that the Racing Post, the new rival to the Sporting Life, was to launch on 3 April. The launch was planned to coincide with the Grand National. It was revealed that the Post would be a full-colour tabloid with a 25p cover price — 15p less than the Sporting Life.
The Indy sets up home
Newspaper Publishing, the company set up by the ex-Telegraph trio of Andreas Whittam Smith, Matthew Symonds and Stephen Glover to publish The Independent, had found a home. It had moved into offices in City Road, London EC1. The company’s prospectus had just gone out seeking £16 million for an October launch.