Ted Verity, the Daily Mail’s editor, announced last week that he was going to address all his journalists in the newsroom. With print circulation down to its lowest point in 100 years – an average of 896,455 copies a day in February and still falling – the assumption was that he would be outlining swingeing job cuts.
In the event, he said that making a success of Mail Plus, the company’s news briefings service complete with live video bulletins, was now the overriding priority, and to assist their digital colleagues, the print edition deadline would be brought forward to 5pm for the first edition.
The Mail had previously taken great pride in its late deadlines to accommodate breaking news, but Verity was adamant. Lord Rothermere, the Mail’s owner, is obsessed with Mail Plus and has charged his son and heir, Vere, with making a success of it.
Verity made no mention of Paul Dacre, the paper’s editor-in-chief, and the troops have lately seen little of him at the Mail’s Kensington headquarters.
One hopes the veteran newspaperman hasn’t taken the transfer of my play Bloody Difficult Women to the Edinburgh festival too hard. Patrick Marmion, the Mail’s theatre critic, was told not to review it when it opened at the Riverside Studios in west London, on the basis that if they ignored the play it might go away. Happily, Andrew Woodall will once again be portraying Dacre when it opens north of the border on August 3.