The usual suspects who raise a hue and cry about media plurality seem strangely silent about the Mirror – Express merger. Print sector media plurality is being dramatically reduced from four major media groups to 3 plus the also rans. The new group will have about a quarter market share of the UK dead tree press. As the print market withers it is turning oligopolistic…
Tom Watson is silent, the usual gobby ‘media plurality’ campaigners are also mute. The Guardian isn’t going on about the hackers at the Mirror not being fit and proper to take over the Express. There are genuine public interest concerns; plurality is being reduced and the distinctive political voice of the Express is being put at risk. Are plurality concerns only applicable to Rupert Murdoch?
Dacre and Desmond went all in with their praise for May’s manifesto and “social care revolution” last week, only to be made to look like chumps by the u-turn. The Mail and Express generously spare Theresa any front page blushes…
UPDATE: Though the Mail’s Stephen Glover tells Newsnight: “There’s no doubt the original policy was a cock-up and an own goal.”
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) May 22, 2017
“He displays a fine line in self-deprecating wit,” says Virginia Blackburn, in a 5-star review of Richard Desmond’s new book. For the Express…
This morning’s Jewish Telegraph claims Ed Miliband threatened to sue them if they published Richard Desmond’s account of a meeting between the media mogul and former Labour leader. The paper’s splash alleges:
“The former Labour leader was furious over allegations that he had made offensive remarks to Desmond about Israeli action against Palestinians. The Daily Express owner had told the Jewish Telegraph that Miliband had verbally attacked Israel during a chance encounter on London’s Hampstead Heath.
Miliband’s spokesman, who had seen a full transcript of Desmond’s interview, said: “You should expect legal action and/or a complaint to the press watchdog if you go ahead with publication.”
They go on:
“Desmond alleged that Miliband made certain remarks about Israel, which we have chosen not to print.
The newspaper chief suggested that Miliband had been “in such a rage. I couldn’t stop him – he was going berserk [about Israel’s actions]”.”
So what did angry Ed say?
And what is it with him meeting people on Hampstead Heath? Maybe Gareth can mediate…
Remember Desmond’s PFL with the FT? Well:
Given Desmond’s company banned kettles from the newsroom, it’s unlikely his own papers would nod this through.
UPDATE: Uh oh…
So Richard Desmond knows all about a PFL.
The FT reports:
“In Richard Desmond’s hands, simple objects become terrifying. There’s the receptionist’s bell that he uses to interrupt executives in board meetings, or the cups of tea that occasionally fly over underlings.
For me, the terror begins when he picks up the wine list. This is Coq d’Argent, a rooftop restaurant overlooking the Bank of England. The prices look like cricket scores — and Desmond is on the hunt for an innings victory.
“We’ll have that one,” he says, before I can intervene. As the sommelier skips away, the sum of £580 lingers on my retina.
So this, I think, is how it feels to be screwed by Richard Desmond. It took less than 10 minutes.”
Interestingly – given the million quid he has given UKIP – Desmond is not sure about leaving Europe:
“I don’t know. I don’t think anyone knows,” he says. “But we need a referendum.”
Not a great week for big UKIP donors.
Arron Banks has put 150 jobs at risk in the South West by moving his business operations to South Africa.
So much for the party slogan ‘Believe in Britain’.