As Rebekah Wade’s deputy at the News of the World, Andy Coulson, right, has been her partner in keeping sales up around the four million mark to dominate the redtop market.
The other Sunday pop tabloids have suffered savage declines in circulation. The pair’s working relationship has given the paper a new image and most of staff were expecting the announcement on Tuesday that Coulson, 34, was taking over as editor – despite other names being touted.
He got a flying start from News Corporation after chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch said: “Andy has been crucial to the News of the World’s success in the last three years, and I am sure he is going to be great in the top job.”
Coulson is said to admire Wade’s methods and to feel the paper has done brilliantly under her guidance. “He’s thoroughly enjoyed his part in it,” said an NoW source. “Now he wants to take it on from there. He is inheriting a paper that is in very, very good shape, so he’s very lucky and absolutely thrilled. He thinks the NoW’s job is to set the news agenda with the number-one priority of breaking the big stories.”
One of the notable entries on Coulson’s CV is his job as editor of the Bizarre showbiz column, which seems to be a magic key for success. Piers Morgan held the same position before becoming editor of the NoW and John Blake did the same before going on to edit The People.
Coulson announced his new position at conference. He is said to be going to take his time to choose a deputy, looking both internally and outside the paper.
In a company statement, Coulson said: “I am delighted to have been given this amazing opportunity to lead one of the best teams in journalism.”