Geordie Greig Appointed Editor in Chief of The Independent

Overnight, news broke that Geordie Greig, the previously-ousted editor of the Daily Mail, is now the Editor in Chief of The Independent. Greig is a known quantity for Independent owner Lord Lebedev, for whom he has been acting as an adviser and previously worked at the Evening Standard. The move comes as the paper looks to expand its “global reach”. Speaking on his appointment, Greig said:

“I am delighted to become Editor in Chief of The Independent, the only title that has successfully made the transition from national newspaper to global news platform, whilst maintaining editorial integrity and remaining profitable throughout. The Independent is the UK’s leading quality digital title… I look forward to leading the brilliant editorial team that is successfully making journalism a force for good.”

The claim that The Independent is the UK’s “leading quality digital title” relies on the convenient exclusion of Mail Online from audience figures. Could Geordie be holding a grudge

mdi-timer 4 January 2023 @ 08:47 4 Jan 2023 @ 08:47 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Frontrunners for £2 Million-a-Year MailOnline Editorship

Lord Rothermere’s party at Claridge’s to celebrate 125 years of the Daily Mail, scheduled for next week, has been cancelled. So the opportunity for a lot of Mail intrigue and gossiping has been lost. Guido will make up for the cancellation by focusing on the subject of their greatest interest…

The most sought-after job in the British media is up for grabs with the announcement that Martin Clarke is leaving his creation MailOnline, where he is authoritatively rumoured to be on £2 million-a-year. According to Guido’s sources, it was Lord Rothermere’s intention to take DMG private that sparked Martin Clarke’s decision to move on. Clarke believes – not without reason – that if he had created a start-up media title as successful as MailOnline he would have made tens of millions; the billion dollar sale of Politico highlights the value of digital-native success stories. For Clarke, a private, unlisted DMG means no lucrative share options and the mere status of a very well-paid employee. Those few millions were not enough…

Clarke’s decision to go triggered consequential events at Britain’s most successful newspaper title. Rothermere realised he would now be in need of a replacement consigliere, so he decided to summon Paul Dacre back for that role. The promotion of Richard Caccappolo to become chief executive of the company’s media business was not significant in the firing of Geordie Grieg, contrary to reports elsewhere. Dacre demanded the ousting of his long-term enemy Grieg as the price of his return.

With Dacre back at the heart of the Mail group and Ted Verity in combined control of both the Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail titles, they will operate as an integrated operation. The remaining question of the leadership of MailOnline behemoth has to be resolved by next year when Clarke leaves. Guido brings you the runners and riders for the job:

  • Keith Poole, currently Editor-in-Chief of the New York Post, is a former Deputy Editor-in-Chief of The Sun who oversaw the digital edition. He also previously worked at the Daily Mail for over a decade, including as Managing Editor of Mail Online in New York, from 2011 to 2016. He is a strong candidate.
  • Chris Evans, currently editor of The Telegraph, is said to be interested – the money would be a raise. He did 11 years at the Daily Mail meaning it would be a return. He has taken the Telegraph journalistically in the direction of the Mail, and might have the right touch for MailOnline.
  • Gerard Greaves was deputy to Geordie at the Daily Mail and still, unaccountably, not fired by Ted Verity. Verity would be glad to get rid of him, though probably doesn’t want him to create a new power base at MailOnline. Also, Dacre loathes him and used to humiliate him in public when he was in charge. He was also previously the Mail on Sunday’s Deputy Editor.
  • Danny Groom is MailOnline’s long-suffering News Editor. He’s popular in-house, but has never actually run anything. Lots of experience of Martin Clarke bawling at him may, however, give him the management template to run the title in the style it has been run hitherto.
  • Tony Gallagher is currently Deputy Editor of The Times, waiting to step into the shoes of the Editor John Witherow, who turns 70 next month. He was the Editor at the Daily Telegraph who oversaw the MPs’ expense scandal reporting and was Deputy Editor of the Daily Mail before being appointed as editor-in-chief of The Sun. It should not be forgotten that he worked on the launch of MailOnline at the beginning with Martin Clarke.
  • Matt Chorley made his name as a political reporter at MailOnline by stealing stories from Guido unattributed and claiming them as “exclusives”. Currently doing a “comedy show” for Times Radio. He can dream.

Whoever gets the job will oversee one of the most-read publications in the free world…

mdi-timer 10 December 2021 @ 12:01 10 Dec 2021 @ 12:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Redundancies Minus Half Staff from Mail+

The great new hope of Lord Rothermere for the digital future that is the Mail+ venture is making half its staff redundant this week. Redundancy notices have gone out, though not for his son, 26 year-old Vere Rothermere, who is finding his way in the family business at Mail+.

Readers and media commentators might be a little confused by the fierce competition between the Daily Mail’s editor Geordie Grieg, Mail Online edited by Martin Clark and Mail+, which was managed by Tristan Davies until he too got the boot a few weeks ago. They all jealously compete against each other for resources and star hacks’ time. The Mail on Sunday less so, although it too has to resentfully cough up content to to Mail Online. It was noticeable that in his prematurely boastful interview in GQ, Geordie Grieg overlooked mentioning Mail+ for some reason..

Mail+, unlike Mail Online, charged for content which was a bit more upmarket than updates about Kim Kardashian’s bottom. It doesn’t appear that people are willing to pay for it though. Sadly this means they are cutting back half their staff. Guido thought something was up when he noticed that many of their podcasts – which they gave away free – were not being updated. The politics podcast was last updated in July. Just as well nothing has happened in politics…

For a new media venture it appears to be getting little traction, despite big name stars like Andrew Pierce tweeting out daily made-for-social videos, interviews with and stories about the royals, reports from Michael Crick and content from star columnists, Mail+ has a mere 3,535 followers on Twitter. The approach isn’t working…

N.B. If you have top-notch digital audio/video production skills and are looking for work – do get in touch

mdi-timer 21 October 2020 @ 13:32 21 Oct 2020 @ 13:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Facebook Algo Change Hits Online Political Traffic

Guido predicted at the beginning of last year that the change to Facebook’s algorithms would impact online traffic dramtically for those websites that specialised in making content go viral to drive traffic. Taking a look at some of our rivals; one site that bucked the trend was ConservativeHome, the turmoil in the party has been good for their trade, with pageviews up by 13% on the year, although the number of unique users has fallen slightly, likely as a result of there being no general election in 2018. Guido is relieved to only be down 1.89% year-on-year, not so bad in an off election year. On the left it would seem that The Canary, which used to be neck and neck in traffic terms with Guido, finished the year much weaker. Is that because of Facebook or outrage fatigue?

The other sites impacted badly by the Facebook algo change were the newspapers’ websites. According to ABC figures Mail Online was down 16% year-on-year and Sun Online was down 12%. Guido understands that because of the New Statesman’s new semi-permeable paywall it too has seen an even more dramatic collapse in online traffic… 

mdi-timer 3 January 2019 @ 13:46 3 Jan 2019 @ 13:46 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Katie Hopkins Dumped By MailOnline

Press Gazette quotes a MailOnline spokesman:

“Katie’s contract was not renewed by mutual consent.”

Oh no, what a shame. Could be an exciting new hire for Russia Today…

mdi-timer 27 November 2017 @ 12:30 27 Nov 2017 @ 12:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Mail McDonnell Investigation Didn’t Have to Look Far

Today’s Daily Mail splashes on a story by its “Investigations Unit” apparently revealing that in 2013 John McDonnell called for “insurrection” and encouraged the overthrow of the government. At a speech at Goldsmiths university, McDonnell said:

“Parliamentary democracy doesn’t work for us. Elections don’t work for us… We used to call it insurrection. Now we’re polite and say it’s direct action. Let’s get back to calling it what it is. It’s insurrection.”

How far did the Mail’s fabled Investigations Unit have to look to find the scoop? Well, the exact same quote was reported by their colleagues at MailOnline only a few months ago during the election campaign. McDonnell was even forced to explain his comments at the time, saying:

“What I said was, in the old days we used to call it insurrection, now we call it direct action and demonstrations.”

In fact, “insurrection” is one of McDonnell’s favourite terms to rile up his comrades. As the Telegraph reported two years ago he used the word on the public record at least three times between 2010 and 2013. That’s a low estimate. We know papers are slower than their online rivals these days but this is pushing it a bit far…

mdi-timer 12 September 2017 @ 14:41 12 Sep 2017 @ 14:41 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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